Skip to main content

Full text of "North country poets : poems and biographies of natives or residents of Northumberland, Cumberland, Westmoreland, Durham, Lancashire and Yorkshire ... : (modern section)"

See other formats

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at http : //books . google . com/| 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Digitized by 


North Country 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


North Country 


Of Natives ob Besidentb of Nobthumbebland, 


Lanoashibe and Yobkshibb. 



(Prbsidbnt of ths HniiL Litbbabt Olub,) 

Author of " Historic Yobxshirk," " Hibtobio Bomanoe/* 
"Modern Yoruhire Ports/* etc., etc. 




A. BROWN & SONS, and J. R. TUTIN. 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 



r-''! ''V)! 

<• \ 

DEC "ciS) ir92 


AOA/yiyK^ y-^^;t^ 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The aim of the Editor of this work is to bring 
together the best poems with original biographical 
sketches of representative poets, who, by birth or 
residence, are connected with the six Northern Counties 
of England. In the present volume are included 
authors who are living, or have died not prior to 1860. 
It is expected that the Modem Section will be com- 
pleted in about two more volumes. 

The Editor is grateful for the kind assistance of 
several authors who have written biographies, and to 
the publishers who have been good enough to grant 
permission for the reproduction of copyright poems. 

That the work supplies a want is proved by the 
flattering reception it has received from the press and 
the public during its publication in monthly parts. 
The success has far exceeded the expectations of the 
Editor, and encouraged him to continue his labours. 

Mr. J. B. TuTiN, of Hull, has kindly prepared the 


Hull Literary Clubj 
Ut December, 1888. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


ANDREWS, WILLIAM, 1. 16, 47, 57, 67, 171. 

A8HT0N, W. A., 207. 

AXON, WILLIAM E. A., 26, 68, 82, 220. 

BANKS, MRS. G. LINN^US, 48, 146. 



BURNETT, W. H., 233. 



DIRCKS, WILL. H., 162. 

GAUNT, J., 135. 

GREAME, ANDREW, 202, 216, 263. 





LISTER, R. J., 93. 


PARKER, J. OSCAR, 11, 159. 






TOMLINSON, W. W., 109. 


WALKER, JOHN, 97, 187. 


WATSON, AARON, 20, 32, 226. 


WILDRIDGE, T. TINDALL, 104, 139, 245. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

North Country Poets. 

Mrs. G. Linnceus Banks. 

. George LinnoBOS Banks is favourably known as a poet 
nd novelist. She was bom in Oldham Street, Manchester, 
[arch 25th, 1821. Shortly after her birth, which occurred 
nring a thirteen weeks* frost, a smoky chimney it was 
npossible to repair caused inflammation in her left eye, 
nd imperilled her eyesight, leaving the sixth nerve para- 
^sed. Her grandfather, Mr. James Yarley, a member of a 
3od Yorkshire family of Quaker descent, was a man of 
mark, as a traveller, a linguist, a scientific chemist, and the discoverer of 
chloride of lime for bleaching. He lost ten thousand pounds in a Chancery 
suit in defence of his right to use it in his own bleach works, although Ten- 
nant, his opponent, was nonsuited. He also discovered in England the fine 
clay for biscuit china, previously obtained from Germany. Her father also 
was a man of genius and culture ; artistic, scientific, and literary. The 
education Mrs. Banks received, in part from a classical master, was largely 
supplemented by home influences, a good library, and the intelligent, literary, 
theatrical, and artistic friends who thronged her gifted father's house. At 
the age of eleven, she wrote a song, and delighted her younger sister 
and little friends with stories of her own invention. Her first contribution 
to the press, in the Manchester Guardian, April 12th, 1837, was a sentimental 
poem entitled *• The Dying Girl to her Mother." It was followed at inter- 
vals by others of a higher order. Later, at the request of Mr. Bogerson, 
editor of the Odd Fellows^ Quarterly Magazine, she sent him a poem called 
" The Neglected Wife," and gained by it a prize of three guineas, which was 
her first literary honorarium. She was barely eighteen when she succeeded 
to a long-established school for young ladies, at Gheetham, Manchester, which 
she carried on with success. In 1844 was issued her " Ivy Leaves ; a 
Collection of Poems." Two years later, viz., December 27th, 1846, she 
was married at the Collegiate Church, Manchester, to George Linnaeus 
Banks, of Birmingham, a many-sided man, poet, orator, and journalist. 
She greatly assisted her husband in his literary labours, and conjointly 
with him produced a most favourably received volume of verse under the 
title of " Daisies in the Grass." Many of their songs have been set to 
music, and are extremely popular. Mrs. Banks's first publication after 
marriage was a '* Lace Knitter's Guide," followed, after a long interval, by 
" Light Work for Leisure Hours," a quarterly brochure still in progress 
with the aid of a daughter. It was not until June, 1866, that she published 
her first novel, " God's Providence House " (Bentley). It established her 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

North Country Poets. 

reputation. Next in turn appeared a North Country story, *' Stung 
to the Quick " (1867) ; '* The Manchester Man " (1876) ; a Wiltshire story 
entitled *' Glory *• (1877) ; a Lancashire novel entitled " Caleb Booth's 
Clerk " (1878) ; »' Wooers and Winners," a Yorkshire story (1880) ; " For- 
bidden to Wed " (1883) ; and ** In His Own Hand " (1885). A cheap and 
uniform edition of her novels was commenced in 1881 by Abel Hey wood & Son, 
Manchester, and Simpkin, Marshall & Co., London. In addition to the fore- 
going novels, excepting** God's Providence House,*' the series includes the 
story **More than Coronets," a number of weird stories entitled •* Through 
the Night," and a second volume of short tales under the title of '* The 
Watchmaker's Daughter, and Other Stories," and a third volume entitled 
** Sybilla, and Other Stories." In 1878, a collection of Mrs. Banks's later 
poems was published under the title of " Bipples and Breakers," and 
entitled the writer to a high place amongst the poets of the period. The 
volume received many favourable reviews. The Athenmim said, *' Mrs. Banks 
writes with fluency and animation. Her view of sentiment is pure and 
earnest." Other leading critical journals welcomed the work with words 
of praise. Mrs. Banks has written much for the leading magazines, 
including All the Year Round, Argosy, Gentleman's Magazine, Temple Bar, 
Belgravia Anntuil, CasselVs Family Magazine, Quiver, GirVs Own Paper, The 
Fireside, Odd Fellows' Quarterly, Once a Week, Country Words, many of the 
Christmas Annuals, Holiday Numbers, &c., &o. During her residence 
at Harrogate she lectured on •' Woman as ohe was, as she is, and as she 
may be," with considerable success, but her preference for privacy has 
been the means of keeping from the platform one who might have done a 
good work. She, however, baptized the Shakespeare Oak, planted by Mr. 
Phelps, the tragedian, on Primrose Hill, at Shakespeare's tercentenary, and 
delivered ** an eloquent address " on the occasion. Several of her books 
have been illustrated in part by her son, George CoUingwood Banks, a 
gentleman also of literary gifts as well as artistic skill. Two daughters 
are also living out of a family of eight children. Her life has had its 
sorrow and its sunshine, her writings are always ennobling, and her 

actions kind. 

William Andrews. 


(to my son.) 

Our ancestor at Hastings fought, 
A Norman baron, clad in mail ; 

And on his shield and scarf were wrought 
A motto ne'er by bloodshed bought : 

Yet valour had its spirit caught, 

* The motto of the Varley family, to which the writer belongs. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Mrs. G. LinncBus Banks. 

And in the fight 

That armM knight 
Felt every blow was for the right, 

And being right could never fail ; 
It nerved his arm for victory 
By ** Industry and Probity.'* 

Scorn not the motto as unmeet 

For feudal times and battle-cry ; 
For fields where fiery foemen greet 
The ringing axe with iron sleet, 
And tread out lives with bloody feet 

Intent to slay ! 

Sure in such fray 
Some consciousness of right must sway 

The leaders who thus dare to die ! 
And golden spurs to victory 
Are ** Industry and Probity." 

Those feudal times have passed away, 
Earldom and barony are gone, 

Castle and lands own other sway — 

Forfeit for treason, so they say ; 

Not e'en to us remains to-day 
The right to bear 
Their 'scutcheon fair, 

For rights Hke these with wealth decay ; 
And even my birth-name is gone. 

Yet cling I with tenacity 

To ** Industry and Probity." 

We fight far other battles now. 

No kingly quarrels ask our aid ; 
Yet every manly heart and brow 
Is scarred in fight as fierce, I trow ; 
And whether pencil, pen, or plough 

Be ours to vrield. 

Our surest shield 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

North Country Poets. 

In struggling on, all will allow, 

Is conscious right and earnest zeal ; 
And so, my son, hold sturdily 
By " Industry and Probity." 

'Tis all our ancestors have left 

To mark their course in field or town ; 
Whether through serried rai;iks they cleft, 
Or drove the dagger to the heft, 
And the fierce stag of life bereft. 

Or battered wall 

Echoed the call 
First shouted by some craftsman deft, 

Who, fighting, won his mural crown ; 
Yet a right noble legacy 
Is " Industry and Probity." 

So, guard within thy inmost heart 
That Norman's cry, however attained ; 

Assured that no ignoble part 

Was played in battle, field, or mart, 

By him who wrote upon his chart 
That worthy line. 
So make it thine ; 

Hold up the words like stars to shine 
Upon a life by vice unstained ; 

And fight thy battle trenchantly 

By " Industry and Probity." 


A bridal robe should be 

A dress to be worn for the day. 
Then laid aside with all perfumes rare, 
A treasure to guard with lifelong care, 

A relic for ever and aye. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Mrs. G. LintKBUs Banks. 

And never meaner use 

Should sully its delicate snow ; 
The bride's last robe in her maidenhood 
Should be kept as perfect, pure, and good, 
As when first it was donned, I trow. 

For ever a dainty type 

Of her chastity pure and white, 
Folded up, like a rose in the bud. 
Its beauty unseen, but understood 
By all who can think aright. 

Text from the marriage mom, 

In its silence to preach through life. 
Of duties, put on with every fold. 
To change that life's silver into gold. 
If love link true husband and wife. 

And not till Death should call 
The tried wife to his bridal bed 

Should that well-saved robe again be worn, 
Or that orange wreath again adorn 

The auburn or lint- white head ; 

And only wife who kept 

As spotless her life as her dress, 
Be honoured to wear her bridal gown. 
Be honoured to wear her bridal crown. 

When Death shall her pale lips press. 

AH, ME ! 

I measure life by gravestones, not by years ; 

They are the milestones on my life's highway ; 
For rain of heaven they have been wet with tears — 
Are wet to-day ! 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

North Country Poets. 

Tears of the heart, not of the clouded eye, 

Bedew these sepulchres of blighted blooms, 
Where, unresponsive, the beloved ones lie 
In far-off tombs. 

Dear friends, who journeyed with me hand in hand. 

And dropped, way-worn, leaving sad me behind. 
To seek alone that bright and better land 
Faith looks to find. 

My baby-buds, sweet blossoms of my love. 

With sentient leaves expanding day by day ; 
Whose essence envious Death exhaled above. 
And left me — clay. 

Fair human forms surrendered to the dust, 

My human tears may dew your verdant graves ; 
But there are buried hopes — uncoflGined trusts — 
Where no grass waves. 

There will be " resurrection of the dead ; " 

Parted humanity expects to meet 
All smiles and love — where never tears are shed — 
In bliss complete. 

Some hopes died early, others in their prime. 

And the heart shrouds them in a viewless pall ; 
But they will rise not in the after-time 
At any call. 

I measure life by gravestones, not by years ; 

And these, intangible, count with the seen ; 
The dead hopes buried in a rain of tears — 

The " should have been." 

And not I only — for, alas I all men 

Inurn dead hopes within their secret souls, 
But seldom mark their graves for mortal ken 
With open scrolls. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Mrs. G. Linnceus Banks. 


The wind its trump hath blown 

Adown the dell, 
And lo ! what leaves are strown 

On yon grey stone, 

And o'er the well ! 

Like human hopes they fall — 
Hopes bom in Spring, 

When Nature's cuckoo-call 
^akes life in all, 
And everything. 

Leaves matron Summer nurst 

On sunny slopes, 
Where their young verdure first 

To beauty burst ; — 

Leafage and hopes. 

But the autumnal gust 
That sweeps life's dell, 

Blows leaves as red as rust 
Into the dust, 
And death's dark well. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

North Country Poets. 

Samuel Collinson. 

LL, the chief town on the Humber, has been the 
birthplace of many poets, and amongst the number is 
Samuel Collinson, who was born there on October 31st, 
1812, and now lives at Nottingham. He descends from a 
Bridlington family. He served an apprenticeship with 
Mr. Robert Briggs, chemist, in Whitefriargate, Hull, 
and subsequently removed to the Metropolis, where he 
remained for seven years ; he then returned to his native 
place, where he carried on business as a chemist and druggist, in Queen 
Street, for about three years. Then — this was in 1845— he went to reside at 
Nottingham, since which time he has lived there. In 1870 Mr. 
Collinson issued his first work. This was entitled ** Autumn Leaves " (Low), 
and is in its second edition. This diversified collection of poems, gathered 
with great taste, from many fields of illustration, indicates a command of 
language and richness of imagery, without being confused or without 
straining after effect, qualities which are only attainable as a result of 
patient culture and years of study. The sonnets are generally very good. 
The principal poem in this volume is "Merope," in which the power of 
description and the play of imagination are throughout well sustained, and 
there is no falling off in the composition. In 1876 Mr. Collinson issued his 
second volume, '' Richard's Tower : an idyll of Nottingham Castle ; and 
other poems " (Hodder and Stoughton), a work which added to his repu- 
tation as a poet. Since 1860 Mr. Collinson has acted as Secretary to the 
Nottingham Chamber of Commerce, a position which he still occupies. 
He filled a similar office to the General Exchange from 1856 down to within 
a couple of years. He is also a stock and sharebroker, and honorary local 
secretary of the Boyal National Lifeboat Institution. Mr. Collinson was 
instrumental in providing " The Robin Hood " lifeboat, which is located 
at Boulmar, Northumberland. He was for a long period on the staff of 
the Nottingham Journal^ as art and dramatic critic. Mr. Collinson is a 
water colourist of ability ; and has a strong leaning to antiquarian pursuits. 

J. Potter Briscoe. 


I love thee not, young May, with all thy flowers, 
Thy blooming hawthorn with its odours sweet, 
And all thy promises of Summer's heat, 
Thy song birds and thy pale green leafy bowers. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Samuel Collinson. 

The sunshine on thy face gleams bright but chill, 

Thy smile's deceitful, and upon my brow 

Thy false kiss falls, cold as a flake of snow 

Unseasonable. On the breezy hill 

Thy icy breath at eve and early mom 

Spreads out the gauzy hoar frost's mantle white, 

Withering the buds that, opening to the light, 

Had ventured forth beneath the shadowing thorn. 

I love thee not, whate'er old poets say. 

Chill, treacherous, but beauteous young May. 


[From Mr. J. Potter Briscoe's Album, dated 1881.] 

So fragmentary and so incomplete. 

When severed from Eternity, is Time, 

That the soul deems not earth its home or clime 

Where it shall fade, like flowers fair and fleet. 

It waits but here the rising dawn to meet. 

And struggling up the mountain side to climb, 

To catch the golden sunlight at its prime, 

With joyous song Heaven's radiance to greet. 

The earth to it is but a goodly hall. 

Where music haunts the air in fitful strains ; 

But ever to its ear there comes a call 

To brighter skies, to the celestial plains. 

Where, though the lyre be broken, the song be stilled. 

The soul with harmony shall aye be filled. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

lo North Country Poets. 


On a lone hillside 'neath the starless night 

And drifting clouds, I stand with listening ear 

To the deep moaning through the bare woods near, 

Of the chill winds that hurrying in their flight, 

From the rough North or cliff-bound Eastern shore, 

Bring with them memories of the beating surf 

And sea bird's cry ; whilst at my feet the turf 

Seems like the wind-swept sand near ocean's roar. 

A wailing cry comes with the fiercer gale : 

Is it the death shout of a drowning crew ? 

The stars shine out, the mist clears off anew, 

The drifting clouds down the horizon sail ; 

The sailor's blessing comes as the winds are laid. 

To those who sent the Lifeboat to their aid. 


Time, sacrilegious hands of men, and storms 

Have made thee but a ruin, roofless, bare ; 

The rough winds wander 'midst thy pillars fair, 

'Neath lofty arches, dight with sculptured forms 

Of beauty, the destroyer's hands have spared. 

Whilst Time, as if repentant of his blows. 

Spreads o'er thy mouldering stones a veil that glows 

With warmest colour ; where thy shrines are bared 

Beneath the blue of Heaven, every arch 

Lifts up its graceful many-moulded crown. 

Grey with the lichen, or in golden brown, 

Bich as at sunset gleam the boles of larch. 

Thy triple windowed gable crowns the hill, 

A land-mark where the gales the white sails fill. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Thomas Newbigging. ii 

Thomas Newbigging. 

men are better known in Lancashire than Mr. Thomas 

Bwbigging, who was born in Glasgow, September 30th, 

33. His father, John Gibson Newbigging, was a Scotch- 

an, his maternal grandmother was also a Scot bat his 

aternal grandfather was of Yorkshire. His early boy- 

K>d was spent in the beautifal Vale of Fleet, a ** haunted, 

»ly ground," whence poetry and romance have drawn 

»undant inspiration. In his eleventh year he exchanged 

the quiet charm of Gatehouse-of -Fleet for the bustling town of Blackburn 

in Lancashire, and five years later, in 1849, he removed to Bury, where, 

for two years, he served at his trade of mechanic. From 1851 to 1870 he 

resided in the Bossendale district of Lancashire, first at Newchurch, and 

later at Bacup, occupying during thirteen years of this period the post of 

secretary and manager of the Bossendale Union Gas Company, and 

identifying himself with the educational movements of the time ; he was 

for several years honorary secretary and director of the Mechanics* 

Institution of Bacup. 

In 1859 he married Miss Lomax, daughter of Mr. Abraham 
Lomax, of Sunnyside, Bossendale, by whom he has three sons and two 
daughters. In 1870 Mr. Newbigging went out to Brazil as engineer and 
manager of the Pernambuco Gas Works, whence he returned in 1875, and, 
settling in Manchester where he still resides, began practice as civil and 
consulting engineer. He is esteemed a leading authority on gas-engineer- 
ing, and is often consulted by Committees of Parliament in a professional 
capacity on Bills relating to gas supply. In the general election of 1886, 
at the request of the Liberals who favoured Mr. Gladstone's Irish policy, 
he contested the Bossendale I >i vision with Lord Hartington. Although 
defeated, Mr. Newbigging's speeches during the contest became known far 
beyond the limits of the constituency for their keen analysis, clear and 
cogent argument, and generous bearing towards his opponent. 

Throughout this most active life Mr. Newbigging has found time for 
no inconsiderable amount of literary work, always with him a work of love. 
His published volumes, if not numerous, attest the singular versatility of 
his mind and the wide range of his interests and sympathies, and even 
more marked would this manysidedness appear if the great mass of his 
contributions to the press could be scanned. He is the author of *' The Gas 
Manager's Handbook," which has reached a fourth edition ; joint author 
and editor of " King's Treatise on tlie Manufacture and Distribution of 
Coal Gas," the standard book on the subject. His other works are " Poems 
and Songs," published during his residence in Bossendale; "History of 
the Forest of Bossendale," written originally for the Bacup Timea^ and 
afterwards brought out in book form, justly regarded as a model in its 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

112 North Country Poets. 

department of literature ; a second edition of '* Poems and Songs '* issued 
in 1883 ; a volume of ♦♦ Sketches and Tales " in 1884 ; and, more recently, 
an appreciative biographical sketch and critical estimate of the work of 
James Leach, the Lancashire composer of psalm and hymn tunes. In 
1887 appeared a volume of his " Speeches and Addresses, Political, Social, 
and Literary." The political speeches were those delivered in the 
Bossendale contest and subsequently ; many of the addresses were given 
before the Manchester Literary Club, of which Mr. Newbigging is a member, 
and embrace a wide range of topics, including " Education," ** Co-opera- 
tion," "Robert Burns," and " John Critchley Prince." 

But little space is left to speak of Mr. Newbigging as a poet. His 
lyrics, for most of his poems are lyrical, often remind us of Burns in the 
grace and vigour of their style, in the quaint homeliness of their humour, 
and the pathetic melancholy which now and then creeps into his verse. 
They bear abundant evidence that their author is a loving and close 
observer of nature, and a man in full sympathy with his fellow-men, 
however lowly their lot in life. They read like the spontaneous utterances 
of a broad, manly, earnest spirit on life's somewhat prosy highway, 
breaking now and again into involuntary song, singing because he must 
and careless who hears. 

J. Oscar Pareeb. 


There's pleasure and health in contentment, 

There's fortune in freedom from care ; 
But envy, and strife, and resentment, 

Our happiest moments impair. 
He's a wise man his passion that bridles, 

He's a fool that will brawl and look sore ; 
When self, pomp, and pelf are our idols, 

Joy soon bids adieu to our door I 

A crown's but a cumbersome bauble, 
That darkens the brow it adorns ! 

And he that wins power oft exchanges 
The down of his pillow for thorns. 

The heart that is fainting and fearful. 
Finds life but a pathway of pain ; 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Thomas Newbigging. 13 

But he that is trasting and cheerful » 
Descries the bright bow through the rain. 

Though little in life we may boast of, 

'Tis wisdom that little to prize ; 
And trials, if men make the most of, 

Are heaven's best gifts in disguise I 
The tiniest seed in earth's bosom 

To loftiest tree doth upspring ; 
And the birds of the air from the tempest 

'Neath its branches may shelter and sing. 

Life hath its eclipses of sorrow, 

That hide the blue sky from our sight ; 
But trust we the brighter to-morrow — 

God's manna comes down in the night 1 
And while the rich harvest we gather, 

We'll not the Good Giver forget ; 
But, grateful, low bending together, 

With gladness acknowledge the debt. 


Life is a dreary round, they say, 

A lonely pathway paved with sorrow ; 
Where tear-clad care holds potent sway. 

And all seems cheerless, but to-morrow ; 
So I would add my bitter sigh ; 

So might I deem my soul benighted ; 
So darkness dire might shroud my sky. 

If Mary were not here to light it. 

O tell not me of sunless hours. 

And sweet vows plighted to be broken ; 
Why close thine eyes on couch of flowers. 

And take the darkness for a token ? 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

14 North Country Poets. 

' Why gaze upon the brow of night, 

Nor mark the myriad stars that grace it ? 
Thy grief ! go, view the world aright, 

Thou'lt find some dear one born to chase it. 


In Eossendale there lives a lass— 

I know not where her peer may be — 
She's fairer than the fairest maid 

That graces poet's minstrelsy. 
The sunlight of her kindly face 

Is dowry more than gold and land ; 
Her smile, a richer treasure than 

E'er rose 'neath touch of fairy's wand. 

The spring-time wakens leaf and bud, 

And sprinkles flowers on every spray ; 
The summer gilds the mountain top, 

And clothes the vale with verdure gay : 
'Tis spring-time where my darling is, 

The light of love illumes her eyes ; 
The beauty of her tender glance 

Broods o'er my soul like summer skies. 

When o'er the russet moorland hills. 

In wild career the whistling gale 
Speeds on its wintry way, and fills 

With drifting snow the narrow vale, 
I sit beside the glowing hearth, 

Nor count the moments as they glide : 
'Tis summer in yon forest home, 

With the dear angel by my side. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Thomas Newbigging. 15 


The mavis he sings by his nesfc, 
The lark o'er his home on the lea ; 

Each lass to the lad she loves best, 
And Willie is waiting for me. 

My mother says wooers are wild, 
They ne'er let the lasses a-be ; 

Oh ! kind is the bosom, and mild, 
0' Willie, that's waiting for me. 

Yestreen as we sat in the glen. 

By the stream that runs murmuring free, 
" My heart to my mou' gied a sten," 

For Willie spak' something to me. 

He said that his bosom was sad, 
And 'twas mine ilka pleasure to gie ; 

I'll ne'er be unkind to my lad. 
For oh I he is kind aye to me. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

1 6 North Country Poets. 

William Cartwright Newsam. 

the year 1845 was published at Sheffield a charming 
volume, entitled ♦• The Poets of Yorkshire ; comprising 
Sketches of the Lives and Specimens of the Writings of 
those * Children of Song ' who have been natives of or 
otherwise connected with the County of York ; " com- 
menced by William Cartwright Newsam; completed, 
and published for the benefit of his family, by John 
Holland. The story of Mr. Newsam's struggles and 
early death is told with a sympathetic pen, by Mr. Holland. Several 
pleasing specimens of Mr. Newsam's poetry are also included. The story 
of his career is sketched in Mr. W. H. Dawson's *' History of Skipton," 
the native town of Mr. Newsam, wlio was born in 1811, and died at 
Sheffield in 1844. Mr. Holland speaks of him as a ** worthy and ingenious 

His grandson, also named William Cartwright Newsam, is widely and 
favourably known as a lyric author, has spent the greater part of his life 
in Yorkshire, and as a contributor to the Northern press, his name must 
be familiar to many readers. He was born at Nottingham in 1861. Many 
of his songs have been set to music by leading composers, and become very 
popular, and have been much praised by the critical press. Mr. Newsam 
has set to music many of his own pieces, and is the composer of numerous, 
musical works. The list of his songs and musical pieces is a long and 
interesting one, and shows tireless industry and ability. To numerous 
magazines he has contributed poetry much above the merit usually found 
in periodical publications. We give three examples of his poetry. 

W. A. 


Eeturned from travel, after many years, 

Once more on old familiar ground I roam ; 
I mark the little Church, unchanged it stands, 

And all unchanged my childhood's village home ; 
Unchanged the sunset lights the sapphire sea ; 

Unchanged it smiles upon the village green, 
Touching with gold the daisies on the lea. 

And lighting, as of old, the peaceful scene. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William Cartwright Newsatn. 17 

The old familiar sounds fall on my ear, — 

The shouts of merry children at their play ; 
And from the fields, to seek the homesteads near, 

The lowing cattle slowly wend their way. 
All, all unchanged ! But still so changed to me 

The unfamiliar forms that pass me by ; 
Strange and unknown is every face I see. 

And gone the friendly glance of every eye. 

All, all are gone, and here I stand alone, 

Without the pressure of a friendly hand ; 
Where once I lived and loved, — now all unknown, 

I stray unnoticed through my native land ; 
And, as I muse upon the fading past. 

Amid the shadows of the dying day. 
Long pent-up memories now come crowding fast 

Of forms and faces that have passed away. 

Just as of old — I hear the curfew bell. 

The lilies tremble on the murmuring stream. 
The fragrant blue-bells scent the shadowy dell. 

And, as of old, once more I dream, I dream. 
Just as of old, that one sweet face I see. 

And, as of old, the blissful hour glides by. 
Oh ! could the joy be given once more to me I 

To live again that one sweet hour — and die ! 

Give me that hour ! Take back the wasted years 

That form the burden of my weary life I 
Give me that hour for all the sighs and tears 

That were the guerdon of my life-long strife ! 
Then, to recall the joys that now are o'er, 

And lay my head upon that gentle breast, 
Fain would I claim the joyful boon once more, 

And for that blissful hour give all the rest ! 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

1 8 North Country Poets. 


I stood by the sea when the sun shone bright 
And flooded its depths with a blaze of light, 
And the golden sheen and emerald green, 
Like gems in the crown of a fairy queen, 

Flashed forth in glittering splendour ; 
And the soft winds sighed o'er the shining tide, 
And the murm'ring waves to the breeze replied 

In tones that were low and tender. 

I stood by the sea when the moon was high, 
And the stars shone out from the midnight sky, 
And a wondrous sight was that shimmering light 
That flashed from the crests of the surges bright, 

Like stars in trembling motion ; 
And the moon's soft ray on the waters lay. 
And its gleaming track made a bright highway 

Across the slumbering ocean. 

I stood by the sea when the lightning flashed. 
And the waves ran high, and the thunder crashed. 
And the blinding spray, that was dashed away 
By the howling wind, in the furious fray. 

Brought death to the hardy toiler ; 
When his ship at last by the stormy blast, 
A dismantled wreck on the rocks was cast, 

A prey to the ruthless spoiler. 

The beautiful sea ! The treacherous sea ! 

A joy and a terror it is to me. 

A beautiful sight, by day or by night. 

Is the tranquil sea, by whose margin bright 

The fisherman loves to wander ; 
A terrible thing when its rage doth bring 
The angel of death with his sable wing. 

To darken the homesteads yonder. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William Cartwright Newsam. 19 


Sweet mother, dear I Sweet mother, dear I 

How flies my memory back to thee 
And those bright days of thoughtless joy 

When thou wert all in all to me. 
Secure from every grief and care, 

How calm and peaceful was my rest. 
When folded in thy loving arms, 

And pillowed on thy gentle breast. 

Those halcyon days soon passed away, 

And, as the years of life rolled on. 
Sorrows came fast and faster still. 

While pleasures faded, one by one. 
The spring of life seemed brigbt and fair. 

Its summer now will soon be o'er. 
Its winter time is drawing near. 

But springs return to me no more. 

Sweet mother, dear ! long years have passed, 

Long years of care, and toil, and strife. 
Since, full of hope, I left thy side. 

To launch upon the sea of life. 
Now, buffeted by every storm. 

By adverse winds and waves distressed. 
Weary and worn with ceaseless toil, 

I turn to thee and sigh for rest. 

Sweet mother, dear I Perchance thine eyes 

May pierce the veil so dark to me ; 
Perchance thou still canst lead me on, 

And guide my faltering steps to thee. 
Gladly I'll meet thee on the shore. 

Where sighs no more disturb the breast, 
Where all is peace for evermore ; 

Then shall I rest, then shall I rest. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

20 North Country Poets. 

William Brockie. 

QGH Mr. William Brockie is still in active work as a 
urnalist and man of letters, his recollection travels back 
the time when, almost every day, he had sight of Sir 
'^alter Scott, and when his daily life was spent among 
any of the characters who have become immortal through 
le "Waverley Novels." As a youth engaged in the 
w, he beheld Jeffrey practising as an advocate in the 
Girliament House at Edinburgh ; as a young Scot of strict 
religious training, he listened on Sundays to the lofty and ornate eloquence 
of Chalmers. Surviving into our own world, he still remembers, with some- 
thing of his youthful awe, the giants of a former race. The Border country 
produces poets by the score. On the Northumbrian side the people of the 
villages will come to their doors and say, '* There goes the poet Mitford," 
or Johnston, or Thompson, as the case may be. It is some humble son of 
the Muses, who has put words to the popular airs, so that his verses are sung 
over all the country side. William Brockie had ambitions of a larger scope. 
He was bom, the descendant of one of the old yeoman families, at Lauder 
East Mains, on the Scotch side of the Border, on March 1st, 1811. His 
father gave him the best education his means could procure, and then, 
without thinking proper to consult the lad on the subject of a calling, placed 
himTin a lawyer's office at Melrose. There, as may be supposed, he would 
often " pen a stanza when he should engross." When he was qualified to 
practice as an attorney he took to farming, and when the landlord, in spite 
of a promise given, raised the rent, he took to book-keeping, travelling for a 
wholesale establishment, and finally to schoolmastering. It was possible 
to combine this occupation with literature, and so he became editor of The 
Border Watchy which was to the Border country what Hugh Miller's 
Witness was to Edinburgh. Then he must needs almost ruin himself by 
getting the paper into his own hands, and taking a partner who drank the 
firm into difficulties. In the emergency thus produced, Mr. Brockie set his 
eyes on what Dr. Johnson declared to be the finest of all sights for a Scots- 
man, "the high-road which leads to England." In 1849, he became editor 
of the North and South Shields Gazette, then a weekly newspaper, and con- 
tinued in this position till 1852. For eight years longer he kept a school in 
Shields, called an academy, getting married in the meantime to the daughter 
of a Presbyterian minister, and finally taking leave of the Shields folks in 
a scathing set of verses still locally! famous under the title of " Hookey 
Walker's Farewell." From 1860 to 1873 Mr. Brockie edited the Sunderland 
Times, at the end of that period resigning regular duties in order to engage 
in general literary work, which he contributed to a large number of news- 
papers and magazines. In a life of incessant work as a journalist, during 
which he has acquired thirteen languages, ancient and modern, Mr. Brockie 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William Brockie. 21 

has written much which was intended only for immediate oonBomption. 
Nevertheless, he has found time to produce a shelf -full of bookB, among 
which may be named, '* The Confessional and other Poems," " Leaderside 
Legends," " Indian Thought," " The Gypsies of Yetholm," ♦* Legends and 
Superstitions of the County of Durham," and *♦ The History of the Priory 
of Coldingham. ' ' Let me add that he is a man of high and earnest character, 
respected wherever his name is known, and beloved by all who have the 
advantage of his friendship. 

Aaron Watson. 


Where are the graves of the Mighty ? 

Far in the forest and fen. 
"Where are the graves of the Mighty ? 

Down in the depths of the sea. 
Where are the graves of the Mighty ? 

Sunk in the sands of the desert. 
Where are the graves of the Mighty ? 

Lost in the lone savannah. 
Tumuli, hummocks, and mounds, 

Storyless, nameless, and dateless. 
Spots which the Yezidi deems 

Haunts of the fiend he worships. 

Where are the bones of the Mighty ? 

Ground by the waves into lime. 
Where are the bones of the Mighty ? 

Burnt in the Arab's rude oven. 
Where are the bones of the Mighty ? 

Mingled with soil to enrich it. 
Where are the bones of the Mighty ? 

Scattered as dust to the winds. 
Earth has reclaimed her own ; 

Water and air have theirs ; 
And now there remains of the Mighty 

Not even a marrowless fragment. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

22 North Country Poets. 

Where are the halls of the Mighty ? 

Vacant, dismantled, downfallen. 
Where are the halls of the Mighty ? 

Left to the owl and the ostrich. 
Where are the halls of the Mighty ? 

Eazed to the very foundation. 
Where are the halls of the Mighty ? 

Under the peasant's plough. 
Only some mossgrown stones, 

Left in a nook secluded. 
Draw a stray moonstruck pilgrim 

Off the great world's high road. 

Where are the sons of the Mighty ? 

Shrunk in soul and sinew. 
Where are the sons of the Mighty ? 

Faint and chicken-hearted. 
Where are the sons of the Mighty ? 

Bondmen to serf and slave. 
Where are the sons of the Mighty ? 

Crouching to Pope and Kaiser. 
The priest -sucked Latin soil 

Brings forth few Eomans now ; 
And Ida and Olympus 

Are abandoned by the Gods. 

Where are the deeds of the Mighty ? 

Wrapped in oblivion's shade. 
Where are the deeds of the Mighty ? 

Ah, how few have survived them ! 
Where are the deeds of the Mighty ? 

Frustrated, undone, fruitless. 
Where are the deeds of the Mighty ? 

As if they had never been done. 
No, it is false ? the fruits 

Past generations have eaten, 
And still there remains a store 

For all generations to come. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William Brockie. 


What have we gained by the Mighty ? 

Look around, and see. 
What have we gained by the Mighty ? 

Knowledge, religion, freedom. 
What have we gained by the Mighty ? 

All that the brutes have not. 
What have we gained by the Mighty ? 

To be called the sons of God. 
Matter subdued, mind disenthralled, ; 

Heaven's portals opened wide, 
Life and immortality brought to Light : 

This we have gained by the Mighty. | 

Where is the fame of the Mighty ? 

Not on earth, which they have left. I 

Where is the fame of the Mighty ? 

In Heaven, to which they have gone. 
Where is the fame of the Mighty ? j 

With the souls of the saints made perfect. ' 

Where is the fame of the Mighty ? i 

With God, who has received them. 
Myriads of grateful voices 

For ever and for ever. 
Shout through the empyrean, 

The triumphs of the Mighty. 


Love is a friendly bark on the deep, — 

A planet in the stormy sky, — 
A bright cloud on which angels sleep, — 
A madness-soothing melody. 
It softens the proud, — gives nerve to the brave,- 
Oplifts the feeble, — ennobles the slave, — 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

24 North Country Poets. 

Eetards the swift, — to the lame gives wings,- 
And compasses all incredible things. 
All beings its wondrous powers rehearse, 
And its empire is the universe. 


The world is not a passing show. 
Although things wither and decay, 

And Time, in his unceasing flow, 
Carries them rapidly away. 

Whate'er has been, is, and shall be. 

Through measureless eternity. 

All Time is mirrored upon Space 
In Nature's wondrous phototype ; 

The history of the human race 
Is writ on heaven in lines so deep 

That, to the God-directed eye, 

The Past is not a mystery. 

Man's conscience, too, a record is. 
Surcharged with the minutest lore ; 

Had he no other roll but this, 

The Judge Supreme would need no more ; 

For not one jotting, foul or fair. 

Can Time or Trouble cancel there. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Edwin Waugh. 25 

Edwin Waugh. 

IN Waugh, who has often been styled the Laureate of 
mcashire, was born at Kochdale, 29th January, 1818, 
it although to the manner born as a genuine Lancashire 
i, he is of Northumbrian stock on his father's side, 
le love of poetry and music may thus be regarded as a 
uble inheritance, since both the Borderers and '* lusty 
is of Lancashire '' have a reputation for harmony and 

ngcraf t. Mr. Waugh was not born with a silver spoon 

in his mouth, and has left an interesting record of the struggles of his 
earlier years. After passing through Davenport's Commercial Academy, 
he was apprenticed to a bookseller and printer, and like many other men 
who have achieved distinction, he has " worked at the case." After ten 
years of this drudgery he became Secretary of the Lancashire Public School 
Association, which was established for the formation of a plan of National 
Secular Elementary Education. Whilst not achieving this object, the 
Association undoubtedly did much to pave the way for the education 
measure subsequently carried by Mr. Forster. Five of the busiest years of 
Mr. Waugh's life were given to this work. Since then he has devoted him- 
self entirely to literature. The list of his writings is a long one, and as 
many were issued in a somewhat ephemeral form, they became 
difficult to obtain. This has been remedied by the appearance, a few years 
ago, of a uniform edition extending to ten volumes. To this may now be 
added a new volume of the poems of his later years. Mr. Waugh writes 
pleasantly of persons and places, and has a very unusual power of 
descriptive writing. In his prose stories there are many admirable points 
of humour and pathos. His dialect poems have often great lyrical beauty 
and are racy of the soil. To read them after some modern poetry, is like 
feeling a waft of moorland breeze, laden with the perfume of wild-flowers 
and orchards, after escaping from the warm and sickly odours of the green- 
house. Mr. Waugh paints the lads and lasses of Lancashire as he has 
known them, concealing neither their defects nor their virtues. The appetite 
for fun and frolic, the adventurous spirit, the shrewd common sense, the 
cheerful stoicism that makes a jest of misfortune, the tender home affections, 
the love of wife and child, and all the sacred joys and sorrows that centre 
round the humble home, find a fine and fitting expositor in Edwin Waugh. He 
is so great as a dialect poet, that the delicate beauty of he verses he has 
written in book-English are too often overlooked. They would have made 
the reputation of any man except the author of " Come Whoam to Thi 
Childer an' Me." Mr. Waugh has for years been in the receipt of a 
Government pension, and is now resident in New Brighton, from whence 
he is occasionally tempted to re- visit those literary circles of Manchester 
where he is ever an honoured guest. 

William E. A. Axon. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

26 North Country Poets. 


Aw've just mended th' fire wi' a cob ; ^ 

Owd Swaddle has brought thi new shoon ; 
There's some nice bacon-coUops o'th hob, 

An' a quart o' ale posset i'th oon ; ^ 
AwVe brought thi top-cwot,^ doesto know, 

For th' rain's comin* deawn very dree ; * 
An* th* har'stone's as white as new snow ; — 

Come whoam to thi childer an' me. 

When aw put little Sally to bed, 

Hoo cried, 'cose her feyther* weren't theer, 
So aw kiss'd th' little thing, an' aw said 

Thae'd bring her a ribbin fro' th' fair ; 
An' aw gav her her doll, an' some rags. 

An' a nice little white cotton-bo' ; 
An' aw kiss'd her again ; but hoo said 

'At hoo wanted to kiss thee an' o'. 

An' Dick, too, aw'd sich wark« wi' him, 

Afore aw could get him up stairs ; 
Thae towd him thae'd bring him a drum, 

He said, when he're sayin' his prayers ; 
Then he looked i' my face, an' he said, 

'* Has th' boggarts taen houd o' my dad ? " 
An' he cried till his een were quite red ; — 

He likes thee some weel, does yon lad I 

At th' lung-length,*^ aw geet 'em laid still ; 

An' aw hearken't folks feet that went by ; 
So aw iron't o' my clooas reet well. 

An aw hanged 'em o'th maiden to dry ; 

^Coh, a lump of ooaL ^Dree^ wearily-oontinuoos. 

^Oon^ oven. ^FeytheT^t9^Alex* 

^Top-ewotf top-coat. ^Warky work. 

''Th' lung-length, the long-length, the end. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Edwin Waugh. 27 

When aw'd mended thi stockin's an' shirts, 
Aw sit deawn to knit i' my cheer, 

An' aw rayley did feel rayther hurt, — 

Mon, aw*m one-ly^ when theaw artn't theer. 

" Aw've a drum an' a trumpet for Dick ; 

Aw've a yard o' blue ribbin for Sal ; 
Aw've a book full o* babs ;^ an* a stick 

An* some bacco an' pipes for mysel* ; 
Aw*ve brought thee some coffee an* tay, — 

ly thae'U feel V my pocket, thae'U see ; 
An' aw've bought tho a new cap to-day, — 

But aw al'ays bring summat for thee ! 

" God bless tho*, my lass ; aw'll go whoam,« 

An' aw'll kiss thee an' th' children o' round ; 
Thae knows, that wherever aw roam, 

Aw'm fain to get back to th' owd ground ; 
Aw can do wi* a crack o'er a glass ; 

Aw can do wi' a bit of a spree ; 
But aw've no gradely*. comfort, my lass. 

Except wi' yon childer and thee.'* 

^One-ly, lonely. ^Whoam home. 

^BahSj babies, piotnres. ^Qradely^ proper, right. 


The dule's i' this bonnet o* mine ; 

My ribbins '11 never be reet ; 
Here, Mally, aw'm like to be fine, 

For Jamie '11 be coming to-neet ; 
He met me i'th lone^ tother day, — 

Aw're gooin' for wayter^ to th* well, — 
An' he begged that aw'd wed him i' May ; — 

Bi' th mass, 3 iv he'll let me, aw will. 

^Lone, lane. ^Wayter^ water. 

^BVth Masst by the mass ; an expression brought down from Gatholic]time8. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

28 North Country Poets, 

When he took my two honds into his, 

Good Lord, heaw they trembled between ; 
An' aw durstn't look up in his face, 

Becose^ on him seein* my e'en ; 
My cheek went as red as a rose ; — 

There's never a mortal can tell 
Heaw happy aw felt ; for, thea knows. 

Aw couldn't ha' axed^ him mysel'. 

But th' tale wur at th' end o' my tung, — 

To let it eawt wouldn't be reet, — 
For aw thought to seem forrud^ wur wrong, 

So aw towd him aw'd tell him to-neet ; 
But, Mally, thae knows very weel, — 

Though it isn't a thing one should own, — 
If aw'd th' pikein'* o'th world to mysel', 

Aw'd oather^ ha' Jamie or noan. 

Neaw, Mally, aw've towd tho my mind ; 

What wouldto do iv 'twur thee ? 
" Aw'd tak him just while he're inclined. 

An' a farrantly bargain ^ he'd be ; 
For Jamie's as gradely® a lad 

As ever stept eawt into th' sun ; — 
So, jump at thy chance, an' get wed. 

An' do th' best tho con, when it's done I " 

Eh, dear, but it's time to be gwon, — 

Aw should'nt like Jamie to wait, — 
Aw connut for shame be too soon. 

An' .aw wouldn't for th' world be too late ; 
Aw'm o' ov a tremble too th' heel, — 

Dost think at my bonnet '11 do ? 
"Be off, lass, — thae looks very weel ; — 

He wants noan o'th bonnet, thae foo I " 

^BeeosCi beoause. ^Gather, either. 

^Axedf asked. ®-4 farrantly hargairiy a decent 
^Forrud, forward. bargain, a good bargain. 

H'ikein\ picking, choosing. "^Gradely, proper, right. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Edwin Waugh. 29 


Of all the blithesome melody 

That wakes the warm heart's thrill, 
Give me the wind that whistles free 

Across the moorland hill ; 
When every blade upon the lea 

Is dancing with delight, 
And every bush and flower and tree 

Is singing in its flight. 

When summer comes I'll wear a plume, 

With flowers of shining gold ; 
And it shall be the bonny broom, 

That loves the moorland wold ; 
And it shall wave its petals bright 

Above my cap so free, 
And kiss the wild wind in its flight 

That whistles o'er the lea. 

Blithe harper of the moorland hills, 

The desert sings to thee ; 
The lonely heath with music thrills 

Beneath thy touch so free. 
With trembling glee, its wilding strings 

Melodious revels keep, 
As o'er the waste, on viewless wings, 

Thy fairy fingers sweep. 

In yonder valley, richly green, 

I see bright rivers run ; 
They wind in beauty through the scene 

And shimmer in the sun ; 
And they may sing and they may shine 

Down to the heaving sea ; 
The bonny moorland hills are mine, 

Where the wild breeze whistles free ! 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

30 North Country Poets. 

Oh lay me down in moorland ground, 

And make it my last bed, 
With the heathy wilderness around, 

And the silent sky overhead. 
Let the fern and ling around me cling, 

And the green moss o'er me creep ; 
And the sweet wild mountain breezes sing 

Above my slumbers deep. 


Come all you weary wanderers, 

Beneath the wintry sky ; 
This day forget your worldly cares, 
And lay your sorrows by ; 
Awake, and sing ; 
The church bells ring ; 
For this is Christmas morniug ! 

With grateful hearts salute the morn, 

And swell the streams of song, 
That laden with great joy are borne, 
The willing air along ; 
The tidings thrill 
With right good will ; 
For this is Christmas morning ! 

We'll twine the fresh green holly wreath, 

And make the yule-log glow ; 
And gather gaily underneath 
The winking mistletoe ; 
All blithe and bright 
By the glad fire-light ; 
For this is Christmas morning I 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Edwin Waugh. 31 

Come, sing the carols old and traoi 

That mind as of good cheer, 
And, like a heavenly fall of dew, 
Bevive the drooping year ; 
And fill as ap 
A wassail-cup ; 
For this is Christmas morning 1 

To all poor souls we'll strew the feast. 

With kindly heart, and free ; 
One Father owns us, and, at least. 
To-day we'll brothers be ; 
Away with pride, 
This holy tide ; 
For it is Christmas morning 1 

So now, God bless as one and all 

With hearts and hearthstones warm ; 
And may He prosper great and small. 
And keep us out of harm ; 
And teach as still, 
His sweet good- will, 
This merry Christmas morning ! 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

32 North Country Poets. 

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 

is by force of accident, merely, that Mrs. Browning can 

be included among the "North Country Poets." Her 

parents chanced to be temporarily resident in the county 

of Durham when she was born. There has been much 

dispute as to the facts. Mr. John H. Ingram contends 

that Mrs. Browning was born in London ; Mrs. Ritchie, 

another of the biographers of the poetess, says that she 

was born at Burn Hall, Durham ; Mr. Browning, whose 

word on the subject ought to be final, says that she was born at Carlton 

Hall, in the county of Durham. Fortunately we are able to throw light on 

the subject by means of a letter from the brother of the poetess. He says : — 

"Mrs. Browning was born at Coxheath Hall, county Durham. Mrs. 

Althane, my second sister, was born in London. The rest of us were born 

in Herefordshire. I am the sixth, and, as you may suppose, know nothing 

of Coxheath. I am not even quite sure I am right in the name. I fancy 

my father was only the tenant. He married when he was eighteen, and 

Mrs. Browning was the eldest.*' There is no Coxheath Hall in the 

county of Durham, but there is a village of Carlton. Mr. Barrett admits 

that he may be mistaken in the name, but his evidence may be taken as 

conclusive on the point most in dispute— that it was in the county of 

Durham, and not in London, that Mrs. Browning was born. 

It must be held to be extraordinary, and yet most fitting, that the 
greatest poetess the world has seen should have been united in marriage 
to one of the greatest poets of the 19th century. There is in the history of 
our men and women of letters no other example of a similar union. Very 
appropriately, too, the acquaintance was brought about by a passage in one 
of Mrs. Browning's poems. She had made a graceful and most discerning 
reference to the author of ** Bells and Pomegranates," in her ** Lady 

Geraldine's Courtship," 

" Or, from Browning some Pomegranate, which, when cat deep down the middle, 

Shows within a heart blood-tinctured, of a veined humanity." 

and the poet thereupon procured an introduction to her, when he found her 
great spirit confined in so small and frail a body that she appeared to be 
connected with mortality only by the very slenderest threads. This was in 
1845. Elizabeth Barrett, whose father's name had originally been Moulton, 
had then published several volumes of verse and one prose work, ** The 
Greek Christian Poets and the English Poets." She had written an epic 
at thirteen years of age, and in her twenty-first year her first proof-sheets 
came from the printer, an *' Essay upon Mind," and other poems, being 
published as a volume in 1827. 

Elizabeth Barrett was among the women of sound learning. She had 
Plato bound up as a romance, in order to deceive her friends as to the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 33 

nature of her reading. Italian and Hebrew were among her aooompliBh- 
ments. There seems to have been no moment in her life which was devoted 
to light employments, and the poetic fire burned within her with so much 
intenseness that it was for ever threatening to consume her insabstantial 
frame. Of her poems she wrote : — ** They have my heart and life in them ; 
they are not empty shells ... .1 have done my work not as mere hand and 
head work, apart from the personal being, but as the oompletest expression 
of that being to which I could attain, feeling its short-comings more deeply 
than any of my readers, but feeling also that the reverence and sincerity 
with which the work was done should give it some protection with the 
reverent and sincere.'* 

' The poetess was born, says Mr. Browning, in 1806. Other authorities, 
among them Mr. Ingram, declare that she was not bom until 1809. This 
notice is based on the earlier date. In 1837 she became a confirmed 
invalid. When Robert Browning met her she had been confined in a 
darkened room for the long space of five years. Before her illness she 
was, according to Miss Mitford, ** of a slight, delicate figure, with a shower 
of dark curls falling on either side of a most expressive face." She had 
" large tender eyes, richly fringed by dark eyelashes, a smile like a sun- 
beam," and a look of most extraordinary youthfulness. The marriage of 
Elizabeth Barrett with Mr. Browning took place in 1846, and daring the 
courtship the poetess wrote her *' Sonnets from the Portuguese," the most 
passionate expression of a great and pure love that is to be found in the 
literature of any country. The remainder of her life was spent in Italy, 
where her son was born, where she wrote *' Aurora Leigh " and " Casa 
Guidi Windows," and where, in 1861, she died. Excepting only her love 
for Mr. Browning, Italy had been her grand passion, and her residence at 
Pisa was the realisation of a long and settled dream. There, every incident 
of her life translated itself into poetry, as, for example, a child's song : — 
" I heard last night a little child go singing 
'Neath Casa Gaidi windows, by the ohoroh, 

' bella liberta, bella ! * stringing 
The same words still on notes he went in search 

So high for, yon concluded the upspringing 
Of such a nimble bird to sky from perch 

Must leave the whole bush in a tremble green." 
With Mrs. Browning, poetry was passionate thought. Lyric expression 
—and her expression was always lyrical, even when she wrote in blank 
verse — was not in her case the utterance of an occasional mood, but a 
natural and customary language, like the song-notes of a bird. Her verse, 
with a few later exceptions, is always as hurried and impetuous as a moun- 
tain stream, so that sometimes the thought is obscured by the rush of 
language and rich imagery, and still more frequently there are faults of 
phrase and rhyme which ought not to have been present in the work of a 
poet with so exquisite an ear. These, however, are but the occasional flies 
in amber. Mrs. Browning's poetry is a full and noble expression of the 
soul of one of the greatest and loftiest-minded women the world has 

Aabom Watson. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

34 North Country Poets. 


Do ye hear the children weeping, O my brothers, 

Ere the sorrow comes with years ? 
. They are leaning their young heads against their mothers,- 

And that cannot stop their tears. 
The young lambs are bleating in the meadows ; 

The young birds are chirping in the nest ; 
The young fawns are playing with the shadows ; 

The young flowers are blowing toward the west — 
But the young, young children, O my brothers, 

They are weeping bitterly ! — 
They are weeping in the playtime of the others. 

In the country of the free. 

Do you question the young children in the sorrow. 

Why their tears are falling so ? — 
The old man may weep for his to-morrow 

Which is lost in Long Ago — 
The old tree is leafless in the forest — 
The old year is ending in the frost — 
The old wound, if stricken, is the sorest — 

The old hope is hardest to be lost : 
But the young, young children, O my brothers, 

Do you ask them why they stand 
Weeping sore before the bosoms of their mothers 

In our happy Fatherland ? 

They look up with their pale and sunken faces, 

And their looks are sad to see, 
For the man's grief abhorrent, draws and presses 

Down the cheeks of infancy — 
" Tour old earth," they say, ** is very dreary ; " 
'* Our young feet," they say, " are very weak I 
Few paces have we taken, yet are weary — 
Our grave-rest is very far to seek 1 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 35 

Ask the old why they weep, and not the children, 

For the outside earth is cold, — 
And we young ones stand without, in our bewildering. 

And the graves are for the old ! " 

** True," say the young children, *' it may happen 

That we die before our time ! 
Little Alice died last year — the grave is shapen 

Like a snowball, in the rime. 
We looked into the pit prepared to take her — 
Was no room for any work in the close clay ; 
From the sleep wherein she lieth none will wake her, 

Crying, ' Get up, little Alice ! it is day/ 
If you listen by that grave, in sun and shower. 

With your ear down, little Alice never cries I — 
Could we see her face, be sure we should not know her. 

For the smile has time for growing in her eyes, — 
And merry go her moments, lulled and stilled in 

The shroud, by the kirk-chime ! 

It is good when it happens," say the children, 

'* That we die before our time 1 " 

Alas, the wretched children 1 they are seeking 

Death in life, as best to have ! 
They are binding up their hearts away from breaking, 

With a cerement from the grave. 
Go out, children, from the mine and from the city — 

Sing out, children, as the little thrushes do — 
Pluck you handfuls of the meadow-cowslips pretty — 
Laugh aloud, to feel your fingers let them through ! 
But they answer, ** Are your cowslips of the meadows 

Like our weeds anear the mine ? 
Leave us quiet in the dark of the coal-shadows. 
From your pleasures fair and fine ! 

'* For oh," say the children, *' we are weary. 
And we cannot run or leap — 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

36 North Country Poets, 

If we cared for any meadows, it were merely 

To drop down in them and sleep. 
Our knees tremble sorely in the stooping — 

We fall upon our faces, trying to go ; 
And, underneath our heavy eyelids drooping, 

The reddest flower would look as pale as snow. 
For, all day, we drag our burden tiring. 

Through the coal-dark, underground — 
Or, all day, we drive the wheels of iron 
In the factories, round and round, 

'* For, all day, the wheels are droning, turning, — 

Their wind comes in our faces, — 
Till our hearts turn, — our heads, with pulses burning, 

And the walls turn in their places — 
Turns the sky in the high window blank and reeling — 
Turns the long light that droopeth down the wall — 
Turn the black flies that crawl along the ceiling — 
All are turning, all the day, and we with all ! — 
And all day, the iron wheels are droning ; 

And sometimes we could pray, 
* O ye wheels * (breaking out in a mad moaning), 
' Stop ! be silent for to-day ! ' " 

Ay ! be silent ! Let them hear each other breathing 

For a moment, mouth to mouth — 
Let them touch each other's hands, in a fresh wreathing 

Of their tender human youth ! 
Let them feel that this cold metallic motion 

Is not all the life God fashions or reveals — 
Let them prove their inward souls against the notion 

That they live in you, or under you, wheels ! — 
Still, all day, the iron wheels go onward, 

As if Fate in each were stark ; 
And the children's souls, which God is calling sunward. 

Spin on blindly in the dark. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Elizabeth Barrett Browninff. 37 1 

Now tell the poor young children, my brothers, 

That they look to Him and pray — 
So the blessed One, who blesseth all the others, 

Will bless them another day. 
They answer, *' Who is God that He should hear us. 

While the rushing of the iron wheels is stirred ? 
When we sob aloud, the human creatures near us 

Pass by, hearing not, or answer not a word ! 
And we hear not (for the wheels in their resounding) 

Strangers speaking at the door ; 
Is it likely God, with angels singing round Him, 
Hears our weeping any more ? 

" Two words, indeed, of praying we remember ; 

And at midnight's hour of harm, — 
* Our Father,' looking upward in the chamber, 

We say softly for a charm. 
We know no other words, except * Our Father,' 

And we think that, in some pause of angels' song, 
God may pluck them with the silence sweet to gather, 

And hold both within His right hand which is strong. 
' Our Father 1 ' If He heard us. He would surely 

(For they call Him good and mild) 
Answer, smiling down the steep world very purely, 
' Come and rest with me, my child,* " 

" But, no 1 " say the children, weeping faster, 

'' He is speechless as a stone I 
And they tell us, of His image is the master 

Who commands us to work on. 
Go to 1 " say the children, — *' Up in Heaven, 

Dark, wheel-like, turning clouds are all we find I 
Do not mock us ; grief has made us unbelieving — 

We look up for God, but tears have made us blind." 
Do ye hear the children weeping and disproving, 

O my brothers, what ye preach ? 
For God's possible is taught by His world's loving — 

And the children doubt of each. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

38 North Country Poets. 

And well may the children weep before you ; 

They are weary ere they run ; 
They have never seen the sunshine, nor the glory 

Which is brighter than the sun : 
They know the grief of men, but not the wisdom ; 

They sink in the despair, without the calm — 
Are slaves, without the liberty in Christdom, — 

Are martyrs, by the pang without the palm, — 
Are worn, as if with age, yet unretrievingly 

No dear remembrance keep, — 
Are orphans of the earthly love and heavenly : 

Let them weep ! let them weep ! 

They look up, with their pale and sunken faces, 

And their look is dread to see. 
For you think you see their angels in their places. 

With eyes meant for Deity ; — 
'* How long," they say, " how long, cruel nation, 

Will you stand, to move the world, on a child's heart. 
Stifle down with a mailed heel its palpitation, 

And tread onward to your throne amid the smart ? 
Our blood splashes upward, our tyrants, 

And your purple shows your path ; 
But the child's sob curseth deeper in the silence 

Than the strong man in his wrath ! " 


*• Yes 1 " I answered you last night ; 

'* No ! " this morning, Sir, I say I 
Colours seen by candle-light. 

Will not look the same by day. 

When the tabors played their best. 
Lamps above, and laughs below — 

Love me sounded like a jest. 
Fit for Yes or fit for No I 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 39 

Gall me false, or call me free — 

Vow, whatever light may shine, 
No man on thy face shall see 

Any grief for change on mine. 

Yet the sin is on us both — 

Time to dance is not to woo — 
Wooer light makes fickle troth — 

Scorn of me recoils on you I 

Learn to win a lady's faith 

Nobly, as the thing is high ; 
Bravely, as for life and death — 

With a loyal gravity. 

Lead her from the festive boards. 

Point her to the starry skies. 
Guard her, by your truthful words. 

Pure from courtship's flatteries. 

By your truth she shall be true, 

Ever true, as wives of yore — 
And her Yes, once said to you, 

Shall be Yes for evermore. 


" He giveth His beloved sleep.*' — Psalm ozzvii. 2. 

Of all the thoughts of God that are 
Borne inward into souls afar, 
Along the Psalmist's music deep, 
Now tell me if that any is, 
For gift or grace, surpassing this — 
** He giveth His beloved, sleep " ? 

What would we give to our beloved ? 
The hero's heart, to be unmoved. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

40 North Country Poets. 

The poet's star-tuned harp, to sweep, 
The senate's shout to patriot vows, 
The monarch's crown, to light the brows ? — 
" He giveth His beloved, sleep." 

What do we give to our beloved ? 

A little faith all undisproved, 

A little dust to overweep, 

And bitter memories to make 

The whole earth blasted for our sake I 

*' He giveth His beloved, sleep." 

'* Sleep soft, beloved I " we sometimes say, 

But have no tune to charm away 

Sad dreams that through the eyelids creep. 

But never doleful dream again 

Shall break the happy slumber when 

*' He giveth His beloved, sleep." 

earth, so full of dreary noises 1 
O men, with wailing in your voices I 
O delved gold, the wallers heap ! 

strife, curse, that o'er it fall ! 
God makes a silence through you all. 
And giveth His beloved, sleep. 

His dews drop mutely on the hill ; 
His cloud above it saileth still, 
Though on its slope men sow and reap ! 
More softly than the dew is shed, 
Or cloud is floated overhead, 
" He giveth His beloved, sleep." 

Yea ! men may wonder while they scan 
A living, thinking, feeling man 
In such a rest his heart to keep ; 
But angels say, and through the word 

1 think their blessed smile is heard — 
'* He giveth His beloved, sleep." 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 41 

For me, my heart that erst did go 
Most like a tired child at a show, 
That sees through tears the jugglers leap, 
Would now its wearied vision close, 
Would childlike on His love repose, 
Who giveth His beloved, sleep ! 

And, friends ! dear friends, — When it shall be 
That this low breath is gone from me. 
And round my bier ye come to weep, 
Let one, most loving of you all. 
Say, * Not a tear must o*er her fall * ; 
" He giveth His beloved, sleep/* 


With stammering lips and insufficient sound, 

I strive and struggle to deliver right 

That music of my nature, day and night 

With dream and thought and feeling, interwound : 

x\nd inly answering all the senses round 

With octaves of a mystic depth and height. 

Which step out grandly to the infinite 

From the dark edges of the sensual ground ! 

This song of soul I struggle to outbear 

Through portals of the sense, sublime and whole. 

And utter all myself into the air : 

But if I did it, — as the thunder-roll 

Breaks its own cloud, — ray flesh would perish there, 

Before that dread apocalypse of soul. 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 

42 North Country Poets. 

David Holt. 

jj father of David Holt was a sucoessf nl cotton-spinner at 

9olt Town, Manchester, where oar poet was bom in 

L828. Beverses of fortune fell upon the family, and at an 

jarly age he entered the gloomy portal of commercial life. 

9e had no remembrance of a time when he did not feel a 

leep and passionate love for poetry, and, as a boy, 

icribbled verses. At the age of seventeen, he published 

'Poems, Bural and Miscellaneous," a volume which 

appears to have contained nothing remarkable ; and it was not until five 

years later that, •' A Lay of Hero Worship, and other Poems " (London : 

William Pickering, 1850), introduced David Holt, as a poet, to his native 

town. His third volume, •• Janus, Lake Sonnets, etc. ** (London : William 

Pickering), was published in 1863, and embodied most of his best 

work. From this time he does not seem to have written much, but in 1868, 

his friend, Mr. Alexander Ireland, induced him to issue a small volume 

of selections, bearing on its title page, " Poems by David Holt " (London : 

Simpkin, Marshall, & Go. ; Manchester : A. Ireland & Co.), amongst 

which were several poems of great beauty, not hitherto printed. 

The life of David Holt was singularly uneventful. For thirty-four 
years he was closely engaged in a railway office ; and the days were few 
when he was absent from the city of his birth. In 1853 he married. The 
union proved a most happy one ; and his wife and family of three sons 
survived him. He died, in 1880, at the age of fifty-one years, and was 
buried in the beautiful churchyard of Bowdon, Cheshire : fit place for one 
whose heart had leaned out to the fields, through a life which was spent 
in the streets. 

David Holt has himself written that he believed he lacked entirely the 
creative, and to a great extent the imaginative faculties ; and there is much 
truth in the confession. I only know of two instances where stories are 
woven into his poems, and they are both slight. Still he was a sweet 
singer ; earnestness and sincerity are ever present in his writings, and his 
graceful and melodious rhymes occasionally rise to something nobler. 

His most ambitious poems are "A lay of hero worship " and "Janus; *' 
both contain fine passages, and will well repay perusal. Amongst his best 
work are " Lake Sonnets," "The woodlands," "The mountain dream," 
" Building up," " 1859 in Italy," " *Twas a maiden and her lover," " The 
departed," and "A promise." 

By early associations, he was connected with the Society of Friends. 
He was a man of chivalrous honour, a quiet, modest nature, and surpassing 
gentleness ; these qualities, together with wide knowledge and dry 
humour, endeared him to all with whom he came in contact. 

Joseph Perbin. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

David Holt. 43 


'tis sweet, 'tis sweet to wander in the greensward-paven alleys, 
With the laden boughs above us, and the moss-clad trunks around ; 
i Or to lie and dream with Nature 'mid the fern-clad hills and valleys, 
In a harmony of silence far surpassing sweetest sound. 

the woodlands, the woodlands, O the sweet and shady places. 
Lone romantic hollows haunted by the wild-bird and the bee ; 
Ye may gaze for hours together on the sweet upturned faces 
Of the flowers, whose gentle smiling it is almost heaven to see. 

And they smile upon you ever with a pure and holy smiling 
Of their lovely human sisterhood, and ever as you pass. 
Look up to you beseechingly as though they were beguiling 
Tou to take your seat beside them on the warm and sunny grass. 

And think you they will answer if with gentle words ye woo them ? 

0, believe me, they have voices sweet as any singing bird ; 

But they speak to those who love them, and who lean their souls 

unto them. 
And by such, and by such only, are their gentle voices heard. 

They will tell you tales of fairy-bands, that come and dance around 

And sing them songs of joyance through the livelong summer night, 
Tracing circles in the greensward when the quiet moon hath bound 

In the mystery of beauty with a veil of silver light. 

And the merry, merry streamlet, as it plays amid the pebbles, 
Chiming in with happy chorus to the wild-bird's sunny song, 
With its softly murmur'd tenor, and its liquid-trilling trebles, 
Makes the woodlands ring with music as its light waves dance along : 

Te may almost dare to fancy that ye will behold the issue 
Of some Naiad from the waters with her eyes of liquid blue. 
With rounded form of beauty, and with lips of vermeil tissue. 
Sent expressly by the Muses to hold converse sweet with you. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

44 North Country Poets. 

Or, if graver mood be on you, from the antique trunks all hoary, 
Ye may list for Dryad- voices, with their sad and solemn strain, 
Bewailing to the passing winds their far and faded glory. 
And lamenting days departed which may never come again. 

0, to couch on beds of violet, in a foliage-curtain 'd pleasaunce, 
There to feast upon their beauty, and to breathe their sweet perfume. 
Meet to be inhal'd by angels so ethereal is its essence, 
While they are meet for angels* gaze, so holy is their bloom ; 

'Twere a joy almost too blissful for a mere mortal to inherit ; 
Yet a simple joy, and Nature hath a thousand such in store 
For all thosiB who woo her beauties with a pure and constant spirit, 
And for every fresh revealing, love those gentle beauties more. 

Yes, to live mid leafy shadows, and to note the hours flit by us 

By the sunbeams on the foliage, were a happy life to lead ; 

And a life according sweetly with the pure and natural bias 

Of some hearts devote to Nature, and well skilled her lore to read. 

But the world hath claims upon us, and our social duties ever 
Call us forth to crowded cities, there to jostle with the throng ; 
Yet methinks it were much happier to depart from Nature never. 
But to dwell amid the wild-woods and to pass our life in song. 


With infinite patience and toil to develop 
Whatever may be in us of good and of beauty. 
To build up our nature with labour incessant. 
That our Future may cast into shadow our Present : 
This is our mission in life, and our duty. 

But that which is built to endure, is built slowly, 
And all that the world has of great and of noble, 
Hath slowly been wrought out with toil and with trouble ; 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

David Holt. 45 

And they are the learned who end with discerning 
That men may grow grey, and yet still be but learning. 

It taketh brief time, and but little invention, 
To build up a fabric of lath and of plaster, 
But it taketh long years, and the mind of a master, 
To build a cathedral, with arch and with column. 
Meet for God's glory — majestic and solemn. 


(In Grasmere Ghurohyard). 

Oh better far than richly sculptured tomb. 

Oh fitter far than monumental pile 

Of storied marble in cathedral aisle, 

Is this low grassy grave, bright with the bloom 

Of nature, and laid open to the smile 

Of the blue heaven — this stone that tells to whom 

The spot is dedicate, who rests beneath 

In this God*s acre, this fair field of death ; 

Oh meet it is, great Bard, that in the breast 

Of this sweet vale, and 'neath the guardian hills 

By thee so loved, thy venerated dust 

Should lie in peace ; and it is meet and just 

That evermore around thy place of rest 

Should rise the murmur of the mountain rills. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

46 North Country Poets. 

Arthur A. D. Bayldon. 

GST the rising poets of Yorkshire, Mr. Bayldon 

cnises to obtain a prominent place. He is a native of 

ds, and was born on March 20th, 1865. He was edu- 

)d at the Leeds Grammar School, and has devoted 

3h study to the productions of our best poets, whilst 

mind has been expanded by foreign travel, as he has 

ted America, India, and other parts of the world. He 

been a resident in Hull for some time. Messrs. Geo. 

Bell & Sons, London, published a volume of his poetry in 1887, under the 

title of •* Lays and Lyrics." The pieces are somewhat unequal, but on the 

whole shew much talent. Several of the leading critical journals pronounced 

the work as one of great promise, and as a first attempt it may be regarded 

as a highly satisfactory performance. The following examples of Mr. 

Bayldon's poetry are drawn from his volume. 

W. A. 


Sprung as from mist two rolling worlds 1 view'd : 
One was all beauty, whirling swift and bright, 
Peopled by shapes and visions of delight ; 

The other swung a shapeless solitude, 

Haunted by things which evermore must brood 
In the dim wastes of melancholy Night. 
A shadowy horror hung about the height 

Of desolate steeps where footsteps ne'er intrude. 

And as I gaz'd with wonder, lo ! there came 
A whisper from my spirit's inmost lair : 

** Yon glorious world is thine own dream of Fame, 
Which thine Imagination paints so fair ; 

And that dense orb, where mighty shadows move, 

Eeflects the dream Eeality may prove." 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Arthur A. D. Bayldon. 47 


Alone upon the desert wild and bare, 
Still gazing with thy melancholy eyes, 
While ages sweep and empires sink and rise, 

Thy mighty Image stands, whose features wear 

The same lix'd look thy sculptor carvM there. 
Kg shadow falls but what thy form supplies — 
Unchangeable as thy familiar skies 

And thine eternal kingdom of despair. 

Like shadow's by thine Image come and go 
A host of curious pilgrims from all lands, 

And disappear as ages swiftly flow ; 

And then the broad and ever-burning sands, 

With solitude, and thy still steadfast face. 

Break on our dreams of some forgotten race. 


Flashing form, so fair and fleeting 1 
Arching hill, and vale, and sea. 

To my spirit's ear repeating 
Vows of love from Him to me. 

Thou art fraught with heavenly duty 

To the erring human race ; 
Thou art bright with more than beauty, 

Moulded from the sun's embrace. 

O thou sweet one ! pure and holy. 

Breathing melody above. 
How I love to watch thee, lowly, 

Till my heart swim's o'er with love. 

While I speak thy swift hues tremble, 

Fading, fleeting fast away. 
Now the flying clouds assemble, 

And thy tints, oh I where are they ? 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

48 North Country Poets. 

George Linnceus Banks. 

GH not a Yorkshireman by birth, yet was G. LinnsBUS 
iks one by parentage. His father, John Banks, and 
iliam, the father of W. S. Banks, were brothers, born in 
kefield. Of these, William, the elder, was placed at 
tworth School by Sir Joseph Banks, to whom they 
e collaterally related. Apprenticeship was the good 
torn of the period, and John was accordingly appren- 
id to the Earl of Mexborough's head gardener. Pre- 
viously to his marriage with Sarah Hill (a descendant of historic Kichard 
Penderell), he had settled in Birmingham as a seedsman and florist, and 
there, in the BuU-Bing, was his fourth son, George LinnsBus, born March 
2nd, 1821. 

His parents were Wesleyans of a very rigid type. Home rule was of 
the strictest. From home, " Banks's boys " were known as the incarnation 
of mischief, banding with others for the perpetration of practical jokes 
that would not be tolerated in these days ; young George with the rest. 
He was sent to good schools, among them Dr. Guy's, and on one occasion 
played truant for the whole term, except the first day. The Methodist 
Magazine and " Bomaine's Walk of Faith " sample the narrow bookshelf. 
But at a very early age the embryo poet feasted on *' Young's Night 
Thoughts," and in order to read in quiet, and perhaps to emulate •• Harvey's 
Meditations among the Tombs," betook himself to the planted graveyard 
of St. Philip's Church evening by evening. He was little more than 
nine years old when he began to contribute squibs and epigrams to a 
newly-started satirical paper called The Argus. He was not much older 
when he was threatened with permanent blindness, saw only a glimmer 
of light for months, and was finally cured by a quack who applied 
leeches to his feet. His weakness in sight prevented his apprenticeship 
to an engraver, to whom he went on probation. Then modelling was 
tried, but affected his health. Finally he bound himself to a cabinet case- 
maker, t.«,, a maker of desks, work-boxes, &c., at that time profusely 
inlaid with pearl and ebony. Here another talent was displayed. He 
designed his own scrolls as he cut them out. His master failing, he 
dropped his tools and became a salesman in different places, all along 
keeping up his connection with the press. His first volume, " Blossoms 
of Poesy," dedicated to Prince Albert, and published in 1841, served as an 
introductory chapter to his marriage in December, 1846, to Isabella, eldest 
daughter of James and Amelia Varley, of Manchester. In 1848 he com- 
menced his editorial career on The Harrogate Advertiser, which he, too late, 
discovered to be a mere summer paper. Already free of the platform, he 
filled the winter vacuum with lecturing throughout the north and founding 
Mechanics' Institutes in Harrogate and elsewhere, eventuating in the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

George Linnaus Banks. 49 

" North-WeBt Sab-Union of Mechanios* Institates," of which ho beoamo 
first secretary. As a leotnrer and public speaker he was moat popular. 
His lectnre on " Gossip and Slander " will not be forgotten by those who 
heard it. Whilst in Harrogate he published a second volnme of poems, 
'* Staves for the Haman Ladder" (1850). It was there, over the breakfast 
table, that he wrote his celebrated poem, " What I live for." It went into the 
Family Herald first, then into his next volume, "Peals from the Belfry** 
(1853), and since has gone the world over. Dr. Guthrie, Dr. Baleigh, and 
others have tagged sermons and speeches with a stanza from it. 
The Chevalier de Chatelain published a French translation, and 
The Panama Star afid Herald adopted the three concluding lines as its 
motto. His other volumes— exclusive of pamphlets and unprinted plays 
and lectures— were *' The Life of Blondin ** (1862), " Finger-post Guide to 
London,*' and " All about Shakespeare ** (1864), "Daisies in the Grass** (1866), 
a volume containing poems by husband and wife coming last. It is not 
possible here to enumerate even the chief of his lyrics, set to music by 
well known composers, or the many public movements he inaugurated in 
his native town and elsewhere. His successive editorships after Harrogate 
were The Birmingham Mercury t The Dublin Daily Expreu, The Durham 
Chronicle, The Sussex Mercury, The Windsor Royal Standard, and The 
Exchange, a financial paper. The last two were his own property, and in- 
volved him in considerable loss. Whilst in Durham he set on foot a 
celebration of the Burns* Centenary, which left as a result a fine full-length 
portrait of Robert Burns in the Town Hall : the only English memorial of 
the event. In recognition of his eloquent oration on this occasion, the 
Glasgow committee forwarded to Mr. Banks a medallion profile of their 
honoured bard, with a complimentary inscription at the back. But 
whether in the North or South he was at work for the masses. In London 
he inaugurated the Working Men's Shakespeare Tercentenary Movement, 
which left the Shakespeare Oak on Primrose Hill as a testimony. Several 
other public movements he set on foot in the metropolis, but his editorial 
days were over. Towards the close of his life he did not write a great 
deal, but, nevertheless, he produced some fine poems, perhaps the best being 
the " Lay of the Captive Lark.** Mr. Banks was ill for a considerable 
time. He succumbed to Iod^ concealed cancer on the 4th of May, 1881, and 
was buried in Abney Park Cemetery. 

Isabella Banes. 


I live for those who love me, 

Whose hearts are kind and true ; 

For the Heaven that smiles above me, 
And awaits my spirit too ; 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

50 North Country Poets. 

For all human ties that bind me, 
For the task by God assigned me, 
For the bright hopes yet to find me, 
And the good that I can do. 

I live to learn their story 

Who suffered for my sake ; 

To emulate their glory, 

And follow in their wake : 

Bards, patriots, martyrs, sages. 

The heroic of all ages, 

Whose deeds crowd History's pages. 
And Time's great volume make. 

I live to hold communion 

With all that is divine. 
To feel there is a union 

'Twixt Nature's heart and mine ; 
To profit by affliction, 
Eeap truth from fields of fiction. 
Grow wiser from conviction. 

And fulfil God's grand design. 

I live to hail that season 

By gifted ones foretold. 
When men shall live by reason. 

And not alone by gold. 
When man to man united, 
And every wrong thing righted. 
The whole world shall be lighted 
As Eden was of old. 

I live for those who love me. 

For those who know me true. 
For the Heaven that smiles above me. 

And awaits my spirit too ; 
For the cause that lacks assistance. 
For the wrong that needs resistance. 
For the future in the distance, 
And the good that I can do. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

George Linnceus Banks. 51 


A Pluntive Plea fob oub poob Bibob of Soho. 

Deep in the thick of a tuft of clover 

My mate and I 
(And never was lover traer to lover 

Than she and I) 
Had built our nest, and in peace we lay, 

Unrecking of snare — 
Awaiting the first faint blush of day 

To bound to the air, 
And open the service of life with a matin, 
Couched in ornithological Latin, 
When the fowler came, like a thief in the dark. 
And broke up the home of the poor little Lark. 

My mate she died of fright, 

So did our nestlings twain ; 
I was carried away by might 
Out of the fields and out of sight 
Of the hedgerows in the lane. 
Into the strange abodes of men — 
Never to look on the downs again. 
There I was sold for a top and a marble 

By a gutter Arab, nine years old ; 
I, of the minstrel tribe, who could warble 
Melodies precious as liquid gold — 
Sold as a very loon. 
Devoid of soul or tune — 
Or as a knave, or slave. 
And all for life 
To a cobbler's wife. 

Then they put me in a cage, 
With sloping roof and bars — 

Me who could soar with the sage, 
And talk to the silvern stars 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

52 North Country Poets. 

In the face of the mom 
When the day is born, 
And the babe buds sing 
To the great Sun-king, 
Biding forth on his car of cars. 

And here I am in my cage, 
With sloping roof and bars. 
Immured for life 
By a cobbler's wife, 
In the pestilent air 
Of a tumble-down square 

That recoils from the light of the stars ; 

Yet I'm wiser than the sage. 

And happier than the sage. 
With the Pleiades, and Mars, 

And all the heavenly train 

Talking to him in vain. 

Out of all that he sees and hears 

He cannot fashion one song ; 
Nor set to music the tears. 

Or the frowns of the human throng : 
He can only tickle the brain 
With facts, or with fancies, vain, 

Showing how little he knows. 
How very little he knows. 
While no song flows 
From him the whole day long. 
To gladden the moiling throng. 

Now, 'tis my delight to sing — 
For song is worship, and peace, and love. 
Both on earth beneath, and in Heaven above ; 

It is my delight to sing. 

Because of the joy it will bring 

To the sorrowing. 

And the suffering ; 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

George Linnceus Banks, 53 

And because of the balm 'twill impart 
To many a sad and weary heart. 
And many an urchin trodden down 
In the reeking slums of this cruel town. 

'Twere pleasanter far to be 

Out in the flowery lea, 

Nestling low in the grass, 

Where the fairy-mummers pass, 

Or mounting up to Heaven 

With the pinions my Maker has given ; 

But better it is that I 

Should be pent up here alone. 

Without space to soar or to fly, 
Leading the life of a drone, 
Than the dwellers in courts and alleys dim 
Should lack the grace of a daily hymn. 

There never was monk in a church, 

Had such congregations as I, 
When throned on my slender pulpit perch 
I preach to the passers-by. 
Telling of all the beautiful things 
Which can only be known to the spirit with wings. 

There never was choir in a church. 

Led off by the organ's note, 
That could rival me on my choral perch 
When I pour from my simple throat 
The anthems composed in that prelude of time 
When the Earth was rung in with a starry chime. 

I often recur to the hours 

When I borrowed the breath of the flowers 
To perfume our nest in the purple clover ; 

For, though I am but a bird, 

I have feelings that will be stirred 
By a thought of the old time now and then coming over ; 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

54 North Country Poets. 

And I'd like one day in the week 

The haunts of my youth to seek, 
To see if the elms and limes are standing still : 

But if I were called away 

For only an hour in the day, 
Who is there my place in this human desert to fill ? 

Whose cheery voice would chase 
From the pallid and sunken face, 

The beetling scowl and the look of blank despair ? 
Whose tuneful, loving tone, 
With the fervour of mine own. 

Uplift the soul in alternate praise and prayer ? 
Whose timely voice arouse 
The sons of toil to their labour vows, 

And soothe their hearts at the set of sun, 

When the task for the daily bread was done ? 

Ah, no ! ah, no ! 
My duty here below 
Is with the sad, the weary, the distressed : 
I am a missionary bird. 
Bearing God's holy Word 
To mind distraught and heavy-laden breast ; 
So I will keep my post and fill 
These rookeries with my trill. 
Till my brave heart break, or fleeting strength decay ; 
Then I'll fold my wings in peace. 
And await Death's kind release. 
To rejoin my mate and nestlings far away ! 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

George Linmeus Banks. 55 



Day is breaking 
On the moantain-tops of Time, 

As they stand head-bared and hoary, 
Watching from their heights sublime 
The new Morning upward climb 

In its creative glory 

Day is breaking, 
Like a firmament of light 

Flushing far the heaving ocean ; 
And the darkness of the Night 
Melts before its gathering might 

As a spectral thing in motion ! 

Day is breaking I 
In the valleys, on the hills, 

The earth is as an infant swathed in brightness ; 
And the rivers and the rills 
With a sparkling joy it fills, 

As to lyric measure turns their rippling lightness ! 

Day is breaking I 
And the matin of each bird — 

A ray of morn distilled in music — ringing 
Through the welkin far, is heard 
Echoing, like the parting word 

Of a lover to his earthly idol clinging ! 

Day is breaking, 
Like a host of angels sent 

With some new revelation, 
And the mourning nations bent, 
Tiptoe wait the grand event — 

The mind's emancipation. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

56 North Country Poets. 

Day is breaking I 
And from the grave of other years 

In new birth Life awaking, 
Above the dust of Death uprears 
Its face^ no longer wet with tears, 

For mankind's Day is breaking. 

Day is breaking 1 
And as the story of its advent flies, 

In the mart, on 'Change, 
Sagacious men, far-seeing, questioning, wise, 
Tarry to fathom in each other's eyes 

The import deep and strange. 

Day is breaking 1 
A crimson rust feeds on the sword — 

Devoured by blood of its own shedding ; 
And where the cannon thundering roared, 
To nobler peace and self restored, 

Man by the Light of God is treading. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Sir Francis Hastings Doyle. 57 

Sir Francis Hastings Doyle. 

lONGST modem poats Sir Francis Hastings Doyle, Bart, 
gained an important place, and made some lasting oon- 
tributions to English poetry. Several of his poems are 
familiar to readers in the North of England, having 
special local interest. His best known productions are " The 
Private of the Buffs," " The Loss of the Birkenhead,** 
and ** The Spanish Mother.'* He wrote some clever lines 
on the St. Leger. Some verses in honour of Alice Ayres, 
the nurse who perished in rescuing her mistresses children from the flames, 
have been very widely quoted and warmly praised. He was born August 
22nd, 1810, at Nun Appleton, near Tadcaster, Yorkshire, being the son of the 
first baronet, Major-General Sir Francis Hastings Doyle. He was educated 
at Eton, and Christ Church, Oxford, and had a distinguished university 
career. At the Easter Term in 1832 he took his degree, passing First Class 
in Classics. From 1836 to 1844 he was a Fellow of All Souls* College, 
Oxford, and resigned on his marriage to Sidney, daughter of Sir Watkin 
Williams Wynn (she died in 1867). He was called to the Bar shortly after 
leaving Oxford. In 1846 he obtained the post of Beceiver-Qeneral of Cus- 
toms, and in 1870 was advanced to Commissioner of Customs. From 1867 to 
1877 he was Professor of Poetry at Oxford, and on his quitting the chair 
he had conferred upon him the honorary degree of D.C.L. Three of his 
Lectures on Poetry were issued in book form ; one is an able vindication of 
Provincial poetry, dealing at some length with the writings of the Rev. 
William Barnes, the Dorsetshire poet. In 1886 he published his *' Reminis- 
cences and Opinions,*' and at different times issued volumes of verse. He 
died June 8th, 1888. The following examples of his poetry are drawn from 
his volume entitled ^* The Return of the Guards, and other Poems " 
(London ; Macmillan & Co., 1883), and we beg to thank the publishers for 
their courtesy in permitting their reproduction in these pages. 

W. A. 


Supposed to be told by a soldier who survived. 

Right on our flank the sun was dropping down ; 
The deep sea heaved around in bright repose ; 
When, like the wild shriek from some captured town, 
A cry of women rose. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

58 North Country Poets. 

The stout ship •* Birkenhead *' lay hard and fast, 

Caught without hope upon a hidden rock ; 
Her timbers thrilled as nerves, when thro' them passed 
The spirit of that shock. 

And ever hke base cowards, who leave their ranks 

In danger's hour, before the rush of steel, 
Drifted away, disorderly, the planks 
From underneath her keel. 

So calm the air— so calm and still the flood, 

That low down in its blue translucent glass 
We saw the great fierce flsh, that thirst for blood. 
Pass slowly, then repass. 

They tarried, the waves tarried, for their prey ! 

The sea turned one clear smile I Like things asleep 
Those dark shapes in the azure silence lay, 
As quiet as the deep. 

Then amidst oath, and prayer, and rush, and wreck, 

Faint screams, faint questions waiting no reply. 
Our Colonel gave the word, and on the deck 
Form'd us in line to die. 

To die I — 'twas hard, while the sleek ocean glow'd, 

Beneath a sky as fair as summer flowers : — 
All to the boats I cried one — he was, thank God, 
No ofl&cer of ours. 

Our English hearts beat true — we would not stir : 

That base appeal we heard, but heeded not : 
On land, on sea, we had our Colours, sir, 
To keep without a spot. 

They shall not say in England, that we fought 

With shameful strength, unhonour'd life to seek ; 
Into mean safety, mean deserters, brought 
By trampling down the weak. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Sir Francis Hastings Doyle. 59 

So we made women with their children go, 
The oars ply back again, and yet again ; 
Whilst, inch by inch, the drowning ship sank low. 
Still, under steadfast men. 

What follows, why recall ? — ^The brave wlio died, 

Died without flinching in the bloody surf. 
They sleep as well beneath that purple tide 
As others under turf. 

They sleep as well ! and, roused from their wild grave, 

Wearing their wounds like stars, shall rise again. 
Joint-heirs with Christ, because they bled to save 
His w^eak ones, not in vain. 

If that day's work no clasp or medal mark ; 

If each proud heart no cross of bronze may press. 
Nor cannon thunder loud from Tower or Park, 
This feel we none the less : 

That those whom God's high grace there saved from ill. 

Those also left His martyrs in the bay, 
Though not by siege, though not in battle, still 
Full well had earned their pay. 


** Some Seiks, and a private of the Buffs, having remained behind 
with the grog-carts, fell into the hands of the Chinese. On the next 
morning they were brought before the authorities, and commanded to 
perform the kotou. The Seiks obeyed ; but Moyse, the English soldier, 
declaring that he would not prostrate himself before any Chinaman 
alive, was immediately knocked upon the head, and his body thrown on a 
dun^ill.*'— 5m China Correspondent of the*' Times,'' 

Last night, among his fellow roughs, 

He jested, quaffed, and swore ; 
A drunken private of the Buffs, 

Who never looked before. 
To-day, beneath the foeman's frown, 

He stands in Elgin's place, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

6o North Country Poets. 

Ambassador from Britain's crown, 
And type of all her race. 

Poor, reckless, rude, low-born, untaught, 

Bewildered, and alone, 
A heart, with English instinct fraught, 

He yet can call his own. 
Ay, tear his body limb from limb, 

Bring cord, or axe, or flame : 
He only knows, that not through him 

Shall England come to shame. 

Far Kentish^ hop-fields round him seem'd, 

Like dreams to come and go ; 
Bright leagues of cherry-blossom gleam'd, 

One sheet of living snow ; 
The smoke, above his father's door, 

In gray soft eddyings hung : 
Must he then watch it rise no more, 

Doom'd by himself, so young ? 

Yes, honour calls I — With strength like steel 

He put the vision by. 
Let dusky Indians whine and kneel ; 

x\n English lad must die. 
And thus, with eyes that would not shrink. 

With knee to man unbent. 
Unfaltering on its dreadful brink. 

To his red grave he went. 

Vain, mightiest fleets of iron framed ; 

Vain, those all-shattering guns ; 
Unless proud England keep, untamed, 

The strong heart of her sons. 
So, let his name through Europe ring — 

A man of mean estate, 
Who died, as firm as Sparta's king. 

Because his soul was great. 

^The Buffs, or East Kent Regiment. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Joseph Skipsey. 


Joseph Skipsey. 

• • 

!|OS£PH Skipsey, the author of <* Carols from the Goal 
Fields,'' and a native of Northnmberland, who has passed 
the greater part of his life underground, was bom in the 
year 1832. When only an infant in arms, he lost his 
father, who was a miner ; and, as his widowed mother 
was left with seven other children, Joseph was sent to 
work in the pits, when but a ohild, where he had to 
toil long hours, generally in the dark, and so it came 
that during the dreary winter months he only saw the blessed sunlight 
upon Sundays. Brave and determined to acquire knowledge, the ohild 
became his own schoolmaster, and taught himself to read, write, and cipher, 
whenever he could get a candle-end to enable himself to see printed bills, 
or written notices, from which to copy the letters, and a bit of chalk with 
which to write on the wooden doors of the pit. 

His work, then, was to open and shut a trap-door for coal-trucks to pass 
through ; and, till recent years, he was a pitman of Percy Main, near 
North Shields. For over forty years, Mr. Skipsey wrought in the pits. 
Then, in 1859, he became sub-storekeeper for a time at the Gateshead Iron 
Works ; and that year published a volume of poems. In the autumn of 
1863 he was appointed Sub-Librarian to the Literary and Philosophical 
Society, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. This latter office, although congenial 
to his tastes, had to be given up on account of the inadequacy of the re- 
muneration to meet his domestic needs ; and Mr. Skipsey returned to his 
former occupation in the coal-mines. In 1871 he published another 
volume of " Poems ;" and in 1878 appeared " A Book of Miscellaneous 
Lyrics," with a portrait of the author. Both these volumes were very 
favourably received by the press and by men of literary standing ; and, thus 
encouraged to prosecute his studies, in 1881, he issued *' A Book of Lyrics, 
including Songs, Ballads, and Chants." 

Mr. Skipsey is now a caretaker of a Board School in Newcastle-upon- 

Having devoted his leisure hours to the careful study of general litera- 
ture, and more specially of English literature from the Elizabethan period 
downwards, he was asked by Walter Scott to edit his series of the Canter- 
bury Poets. This he did till lately, writing introductory notices, bio- 
graphical and critical, for a number of the volumes — "Coleridge," 
" Shelley," " Poe," and '• Burns* Songs." These introductions exhibit 
discriminating taste, much originality, and fine critical acumen. The 
many duties of his school-board appointment, however, left him so little 
leisure for literary work that, overworked, he resigned the editorship of the 
poets, and was succeeded in it by Mr. William Sharp. 

In 1886 Mr. Skipsey published ** Carols from the Coal Fields, and other 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

62 North Country Poets, 

Songs and Ballads.*' His poetry, particnlarly that relating to his own 
special experiences, is strikingly pithy and direct. The scenes are 
reproduced to the life, and we see what he describes. These poems, fnll 
of pathos and power, are of no ordinary kind. What the poet*s eye 
has seen, and his heart has felt, is tersely and musically expressed. 
" Bereaved " is the wail of a poor woman who has lost her two darlings 
and her husband, and who, almost bereft of her senses, wishes to be laid in 
peace beside them ; " The Hartley Calamity" is another poem which pictures 
the appalling calamities to which a mining population is liable. From their 
speciality, the general public will probably be most struck by these and such- 
like poems relating to pit-life ; but there are also many others, on general 
subjects, of a high and thoughtful order. " Thistle and Nettle " is a charm- 
ing rustic idyll, archly told with simplicity and humour ; " The Violet and 
the Rose " has the quaintness and symbolic condensation of Heine ; " The 
Mystic Lyre " deals with life, space, progress, and the great harmonies of 
the universe ; *♦ A Cry for Poland '* ends with " how long ?" ; " The Angel 
Mother " is touchingly sweet, natural and beautiful ; *• The Reign of Gold '* 
is an indignant protest against the sordid spirit of the age, and has a fine 
true manly ring about it ; '• The Seaton Terrace Lass " is a ballad in which 
the *♦ old story " is well told in a light airy natural way. Along with it, we 
name the rose-cheeked " Rosa Rea." *' Slighted " is a poem full of pathos. 
In a note at the end of " Carols from the Coal Fields," we are told 
by Dr. R. Spence Watson, who has been an intimate friend of Mr. Skipsey 's 
for more than twenty years : — " I must say a word or two more about Joseph 
Skipsey himself, for we have in him a man of mark, a man who has made 
himself, and has done it well. His life-long devotion to literary pursuits 
has never been allowed to interfere with the proper discharge of his daily 
duties. Whilst still a working pitman, he was master of his craft, and it 
took an exceptionally good man to match him as a hewer of coal. When 
after many long years of patient toil, he won his way to an official position, 
he gained the respect of those above him in authority whilst retaining the 
confidence and affection of the men. Simple, straight, and upright, he has 
held his own wherever he has been placed. The life of the miner is one of 
peril ; he lives with his own and the lives of those dear to him constantly 
in his hand ; and Joseph Skipsey has had bitter and painful experience of 
the cruel sorrows to which he is exposed. He is personally known to not a 
few of the men whom, in letters and art, England delights to honour, and 
I think I may truly say he is honoured of them all. Perhaps, if we could 
see things as they really are, Joseph Skipsey is the best product of the 
north-country coal-fields, since George Stephenson held his safety lamp in 
the blower at Killingworth pit." Mr. Skipsey having been introduced to 
me by Mrs. G. Linneeus Banks, some eighteen years ago, having 
corresponded with me at intervals ever since, and having recently visited 
me, I need only add that I quite agree with Dr. Watson's high estimate 
of one who is truly a remarkable man. 

Andrew James Symington. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Joseph Skipsey. 63 


Mother wept, and father sighed; 

With delight a-glow 
Cried the lad, "To-morrow," cried, 

"To the pit I go." 

Up and down the place he sped, — 

Greeted old and young, 
Far and wide the tidings spread, — 

Glapt his hands and sung. 

Came his cronies, some to gaze 

Wrapt in wonder; some 
Free with counsel ; some with praise ; 

Some with envy dumb. 

"May he," many a gossip cried, 

"Be from peril kept;" 
Father hid his face and sighed. 

Mother turned and wept. 


The Violet invited my kiss, — 

I kiss'd it and called it my bride ; 

"Was ever one slighted like this?" 
Sighed the Eose as it stood by my side. 

My heart ever open to grief, 
To comfort the fair one I turned ; 

"Of fickle ones thou art the chief!" 
Frown*d the Violet, and pouted and mourned. 

Then to end all disputes, I entwined 
The love-stricken blossoms in one; 

But that instant their beauty declined. 
And I wept for the deed I had done I 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

64 North Country Poets. 


It sounded in castle and palace, 

It sounded in cottage and shed. 
It sped over mountains and valleys, 

And withered the earth as it sped; 
Like a blast in its fell consummation 

Of all that we holy should hold, 
Thrilled, thrilled thro* the nerves of the nation, 

A cry for the reign of King Gold. 

Upstarted the chiefs of the city, 

And sending it back with a ring, 
To the air of a popular ditty, 

Erected a throne to the king : 
'Twas based upon fiendish persuasions, 

Cemented by crimes manifold : 
Embellished by specious ovations. 

That dazzled the foes of King Gold. 

The prey of unruly emotion. 

The miner and diver go forth, 
And the depths of the earth and the ocean 

Are shorn of their lustre and worth; 
The mountain is riven asunder, 

The days of the valley are told; 
And sinew, and glory, and grandeur, 

Are sapped for a smile of King Gold. 

Beguiled of their native demeanour, 

The high rush with heirlooms and bays ; 
The poor with what gold cannot weigh, nor 

The skill of the pedant^appraise ; 
The soldier he spurs with his duty, 

And lo ! by the frenzy made bold, 
The damsel she glides with her beauty. 

To garnish the brow of King Gold. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Joseph Skipsey. 65 

Accustomed to traffic forbidden 

By honour — by heaven— each hour, 
The purest, by conscience unchidden. 

Laugh, laugh at the noble and pure; 
And Chastity, rein'd in a halter, 

Is led to the temple and sold, — 
Devotion herself, at the altar. 

Yields homage alone to King Gold. 

Affection, on whose honey blossom, 

The child of affliction still fed — 
Affection is plucked from the bosom. 

And malice implanted instead; 
And dark grow the brows of the tender. 

And colder the hearts of the cold : — 
Love, pity, and justice surrender 

Their charge to the hounds of King Gold. 

See, see, from the sear*d earth ascending, 

A cloud o'er the welkin expands; 
See, see 'mid the dense vapour bending. 

Pale women with uplifted hands; 
Smokes thus to the bridegroom of Circe, 

The dear blood of hundreds untold; 
Invokes thus the angel of mercy 

A curse on the reign of King Gold. 

It sounded in castle and palace. 

It sounded in cottage and shed, 
It sped over mountains and valleys. 

And withered the earth as it sped ; 
Like a blast in its. fell consummation 

Of all that we holy should hold. 
Thrilled, thrilled thro' the nerves of the nation ; 

** Cling 1 clang ! for the reign of King Gold." 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 

66 North Country Poets. 

John Duncan Richardson. 

Duncan Bichardson is a poet of the people, and 
dst the trials of a life of toil has with gratifying 
;ess cultivated a taste for literature. He has produced 
rge number of poems, which have been appreciated in 
perance circles and amongst his fellow- working men. 
olume of his verse, issued in 1886, under the title of 
averies in Bhyme," was well received. He has 

bten much poetry and prose for a number of London 

and provincial magazines and newspapers, and for eight years he acted as 
the editor of The Hull and East Riding Good Templar, Mr. Bichardson is a 
native of South Shields, and was born in 1848. At an early age he 
removed to Hull. 

W. A. 


Isle of the fair and the brave, 

Shrine of each Briton's devotion, 
Proudly thy banner doth wave, 

World-wide and free as the ocean. 
Strangers and exiles who roam, 

Fleeing the yoke of oppression, 
Find, in thy sea-girdled home. 

Liberty's priceless possession. 

Lasting as truth be thy fame. 

First in the van of the Nations ; 
Sweetest of music thy name. 

Theme of thy sons' aspirations. 
May the Eose and the Thistle combined, 

Long bloom together in beauty. 
And yield, with the Shamrock entwined. 

Blossoms of love and of duty. 

England, majestic and great. 
Treasured in song and in story, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

John Duncan Richardson. 67 

Honour and Truth at thy gate. 

Point to a future of glory. 
Nation of Nations ! thy might — 

Shall it desert thee ? No never I 
Faithful to God and the Bight, 

Nothing thy kingdom shall sever. 


'Tis eventide, and twilight adds 

Its charms to soothe me, here, alone ; 
My princes— rHeaven bless the lads 1 — 

Lie sleeping on their nightly throne. 
Wide-scatter'd on the floor, I see 

The playthings of my careless boys. 
And, musing on their merry glee, 

I gather up the broken toys. 

Me thought,—" It is not only here, 

In this — my realm, where I am Queen, 
That toys are broken thus, I fear. 

For human wrecks are daily seen ; 
Fond hearts that too-confiding yield, 

When smiling villainy decoys. 
Losing the gem of beauty's shield, 

Are cast aside as broken toys. 

" We loud lament the woes of war. 

The heroes martyr'd in the strife, 
But, oh, the slaughter's greater far. 

Upon the battlefield of life ! 
The young by splendid sin betray'd, 

Find out too late that vice destroys. 
When, reckless made, and scorning aid. 

They die — the false world's broken toys. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


North Country Poets. 

George Milner. 

the public men of Manchester, none are held in 
lonoor than Mr. George Milner, whose labours in 
on with education, literature, and church-work 
Q productive of so much benefit to the community. 
Milner was born in 1829, and by the loss of his 
rhen an infant, was deprived of the educational 
^es he might otherwise have enjoyed. But if the 
lities were scanty, they were made the most of , and 
the passion for knowledge which he developed at an early age, not only led 
to serious and continuous efforts for self -education, but also to a generous 
desire to see the healing influences of literature extended to every class of 
the community. This feeling has led him to devote much of his leisure to 
voluntary teaching in classes connected with the famous Bennett-street 
schools. If Mr. Milner had entered upon literature as a career, he would 
have made a success ; but he was probably wiser in making it, according 
to a famous phrase, a walking stick and not a crutch. A successful mer- 
chant, a magistrate, the churchwarden of the Cathedral, the chairman of 
the Art Museum ; Mr. Milner is, however, best known as the President of 
the Manchester Literary Club, where his social qualities, critical acumen, 
and power of saying the right thing in the right way, have gained him the 
admiring esteem of all the members. His more than local position in 
literature is due to " Country Pleasures," a book first issued in 1881, and 
containing the •• Chronicle of a Year, chiefly in a Garden," which is full 
of delightful reading for the lovers of gardens and poetry. He has been a 
frequent contributor to Longman's Magazine^ The Manchester Quarterly ^ and 
other periodicals. His verses have not yet been collected, but well deserve 
to be rescued from that tomb of literature, the magazine. To a perfect 
mastery of the forms of verse, he unites clear fancy and a power of 
expression that ranges from genial humour to melancholy pathos. The 
first poem we quote is from The Manchester Quarterly, the next three are 
from Longman's Magazine, and the last is from Odds and Ends, 

William E. A. Axon. 


Along this narrow path, behold, 
What store of wealth outspread !- 

The dandelion's burning gold, 
The campion's ruby-red, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

George Milner. 69 

Sweet speedweirs sapphire, daisy's pearl, 
Fern's emerald in its virgin carl, 
Broad ox-eye's patine silver clear, 
Jacinth of bird's-foot, and the dear 
Green lady's-mantle holding still 

Its diamond-drop of morning dew ; — 
All these, and. fifty more that fill 

The hedge-row spaces through and through, 
With grasses' fret- work carven rare 

And cross'd as in a dainty frieze ; 
And, lurking last, but heavenly fair, 

Forgot-me-not's turkois. 

So dower'd I hardly care to raise 

My eyes to where the mountains stand ; 

Nor scarce have left a word to praise 
Far-flashing seas or shining sand ; 

But as I wander, rapt and slow, 

I see the simple blossoms grow 

To beauty greater than before ; 

And tell my treasures o'er and o'er, 

Or sing them thus, as best I may. 
To yon bird's note that on the bough 

Of hazel pipes his little lay 
For love — as I do now. 


The boughs are black, the wind is cold, 
And cold and black the fading sky ; 

And cold and ghostly, fold on fold, 
Across the hills the vapours lie. 

Sad is my heart, and dim mine eye, 
With thoughts of all the woes that were ; 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

70 North Country Poets. 

And all that through the forward year, 
Prophetic, flit like phantoms by. 

But, in the cheerless silence, hark. 

Some throstle's vesper I loud and clear. 
Beside his mate I hear him sing ; 

And, sudden at my feet I mark 
A daffodil that lights the dark — 
Joy, joy, 'tis here, the Spring ! the Spring I 


The lovers are whispering under thy shade, 

Grey tower of Dalmeny ; 
I leave them, and wander alone in the glade 

Beneath thee, Dalmeny ; 
Their thoughts are of all the bright years coming on. 
But mine are of days and of dreams that are gone ; 
They see the fair flowers Spring has thrown on the grass. 
And the clouds in the blue light their eyes as they pass ; 
But my feet are deep down in a drift of dead leaves. 
And I hear what they hear not, a lone bird that grieves — 
But what matter, the end is not far for us all. 
And Spring, through the Summer, to Winter must fall, 
And the lovers' light hearts e'en as mine will be laid 
At last and for ever low under thy shade. 

Grey tower of Dalmeny. 


Too soon, too soon I 
For but last month was lusty June, 
With life at swinging flood of tide ; 
Nor seems it long since May went by 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

George Milner. 71 

With Love and Hope at either side ; 
And now 'tis only late July, 
And yet, alas, methinks I hear — 

Too soon, too soon ! — 
Death whisper in the fading trees ; 
And when the sun's red light is gone, 
And Night unfolds her mysteries, 
With failing heart almost I fear 
In garden plots remote and lone 
To find the dreadful Shadow near — 

Too soon, too soon ! 


Take cedar, take the creamy card, 
With regal head at angle dight ; 

And though to snatch the time be hard, 
To all our loves at home we'll write. 

Strange group I in Bowness' street we stand. 
Nine swains enamoured of our wives. 

Each quaintly writing on his hand, 
In haste, as 'twere to save our lives. 

wondrous messenger, to fly 

All through the night from post to post ! 
Thou bearest home a kiss, a sigh — 

And not an obolus the cost I 

To-morrow, when they crack their eggs. 
They'll say, beside each matin urn — 

'* These men are still upon their legs : 
Heaven bless 'em — may they soon return." 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 

72 North Country Poets. 

Joseph Wilson. 

H WILSON, one of the most successful of modern 
eside song-writers, was born in Newcastle on the 29th 
ember, 1841 ; and, according to his own graphic state- 
t, •' just twenty minits efter he had myed his forst 
erince, te the stonishment o* the neybors, his bruther 
i showed his fyce to dispute we 'im whe shud be the 
)* the family.*' The father of these rival twins was a 
iT and cabinet-maker, and their mother a straw- 
bonnet maker. The former died when thirty years of age, leaving the latter 
with four fatherless children to provide for and bring up. At fourteen , to quote 
his own words again, Joe went to be a printer. •* Sang- writing," says he, 
" had lang been me hobby, an' at sivinteen me forst beuk wes published. 
Since that time it's been me aim te hev a place i' the hearts o' Tyneside 
people, wi' writin bits o' hyemly sangs aw think they'll sing." These songs 
he printed as well as sang himself, and having an excellent voice, and an 
extraordinary power of representing local character in most of its peculiar 
phases, he was induced to take numerous engagements at music halls and 
concerts, where he immediately became a prime favourite. He was married 
in 1869, and, two years later, he became landlord of the Adelaide Hotel, New 
Bridge Street, Newcastle, where, ever and anon, he used to delight his 
numerous old admirers, while winning for himself additional friends, by 
writing, singing, and publishing one or other new song illustrative of the 
manners and customs of " Canny Newcassel," and its neighbourhood. 
He died on Sunday, the 14th February, 1875, at his residence in Railway 
Street, Newcastle, at the early age of thirty-three. For some time before, 
he had been suffering from that lingering and wasting disease, pulmonary 
consumption, the germs of which he had inherited from his father ; and by 
his untimely but not unexpected removal, a widow and three children, the 
youngest of whom was only seven months old, were left in reduced circum- 
stances, caused in a great measure by their genial bread-winner having been 
so long ill. Having been much and deservedly respected by a large circle of 
friends, especially amongst the working classes, and having been himself ever 
ready to give his services as a vocalist, to help a brother in distress or benefit 
any good institution, a subscription was at once raised for his bereaved 
wife and family, and a considerable sum was realised by it. His mortal 
remains lie in the Old Cemetery at Jesmond. Joseph Wilson's modest, 
unassuming, and amiable personal qualities found a marked expression in 
all that he wrote and sang, as well as in his whole physiognomj'^ and 
general deportment ; and the deep moral tone that pervades and actuates 
his lyrics makes them stand out in shining contrast with the bulk of the 
frothy, unmeaning, and ephemeral trash termed comic songs. His '* Deeth 
o' Renforth," •• Aw wish yor muther wad cum," •* The time that me 
fethur wes bad," " Be kind te me dowter," ** Dinnet clash the door," 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Joseph Wilson 73 ' 

** The row upon the stairs," and many others of his prodnotions, will bear 
comparison with the best things of the kind that ever were written ; and 
many of them will certainly live as long as the language, the tincture of 
dialeotism that pervades them only adding a charm to their homeliness, as 
it does to the productions of Robert Burns, James Hogg, Henry Boott 
Bidden, William Barnes, and James Russell Lowell, A complete edition 
of " Joe Wilson^s Tyneside Songs, Ballads, and Drolleries,'* was published 
some years ago by Mr. Thomas Allan, of Dean Street, Newcastle. 

William Bbockib. 


Ob, Wob Geobdt's Notions aboot Men Nubsin Baibns. 

Cum, Geordy, had the bairn, 

Aw*s sure aw'll not stop lang, 
Aw*d tyek the jewl raesel, 

But really aw*s not Strang ; 
Thor's flooer and coals te get, 

The hoose-turns thor not deun, 
So had the bairn, for fairs, 

Ye've often deund for fun ! 

Then Geordy held the bairn, 

But sair agyen his will. 
The poor bit thing wes gud, 

But Geordy had ne skill, 
He haddint its inuther's ways, 

He sat both stiff an* num, — 
Before five minutes wes past, 

He wished its muther wad cum ! 

His wife had scarcely gyen. 

The bairn begun te squall, 
Wi* hikin't up an' doon. 

He'd let the poor thing fall. 
It wadden't had its tung, 

Tho' sum aud teun he'd hum, — 
** Jack an' Jill went up a hill," 

Aw wish yor muther wad cum ! 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

74 North Country Poets. 

What weary toil, says he, 

This nursin bairns mun be, 
A bit ont's weel eneuf, 

Aye, quite eueuf for me, 
Te keep a crying bairn. 

It may be grand te sum, — 
A day's wark*s not as bad, 

Aw wish yor muther wad cum ! 

Men seldum give a thowt 

To what thor wives indure. 
Aw thowt she'd nowt te de. 

But clean the hoose, aw's sure. 
Or myek me dinner an* tea : — 

It's startin te chow its thumb, 
The poor thing wants its tit, 

Aw wish yor muther wad cum I 

What a selfish world this is, 

Thor's nowt mair se than man. 
He laffs at wummin's toil, 

And'iwinnet nurse his awn ; — 
It's startin te cry agyen, 

Aw see tuts throo its gum. 
Maw little bit pet dinnet fret, — 

Aw wish yor muther wad cum I 

But kindness dis a vast. 

It's ne use gettin vext. 
It winnet please the bairn, 

Or ease a mind perplext ; 
At last, — it's gyen te sleep. 

Me wife 'ill not say aw's num, 
She'll think aw's a real gud nurse,- 

Aw wish yor muther wad cum 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Joseph Wilson. 75 


Oh, dinnet clash the door I 

Aw've teird ye that before, 
Can ye not let yor muther hev a rest ? 

Ye knaw she's turnin and, 

An' for eers she's been se bad, 
That she cannot bear such noises i' the least. 


Then oh, lass, dinnet clash the door se, 
Yor yung an' yor as thowtless as can bo. 

But yor muther's turnin and. 

An' ye knaw she's vary bad. 
An' she dissent like te hear ye clash the door. 

Just see yor muther there, 

Sittin feeble i' the chair, 
It's quiet that she wants to myek her weel ; 

She's been yor nurse throo life. 

Been yor guide i' peace an' strife, 
An' her cumfort ye shud study an' shud feel. 

She once wes yung an' Strang, 

But bad health 'ill put foaks rang. 
An' she cannet bear the noise that once she cud. 

She's narvis as can be. 

An' whativor else ye de, 
Ye shud study what ye think 'ill de her gud I 

So dinnet clash the door, 

Or myek ony idle stir. 
For the stir 'ill only cause yor muther pain, 

As quiet as can be 

De yor wark, an* let her see 
That ye'll nivor give her causes te complain. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

76 North Country Poets. 


The Champion Sculler of the Wobld. 

Ye cruel Atlantic Cable, 
What's myed ye bring such fearful news ? 
When Tyneside's hardly yeble 
Such sudden grief te bide. 
Hoo me heart it beats — iv'rybody greets, 
As the whisper runs throo do wley streets, 
" We've lost poor Jimmy Renforth, 
The Champein o* Tyneside ! " 

Hoo sad, hoo unexpected, 
What diff'rent news we thowt te hear. 
Till dismayed an' affected. 
Heart-broken mourners cried, 
** Jimmy Renforth's gyen, wor greet Champein's gyen, 
Iv a country strange, — away frae hyem, 
We've lost poor Jimmy Renforth, 
The Champein o' Tyneside ? " 

" Oh, Jim, what myed ye leave us ? 
What myed ye leave the canny toon ? 
A journey myed to grieve us, 
Ye've gyen wi' the last tide, 
An* the oar that fell, the last oar that fell 
Frae yor helpless hand, just seem'd te tell 
That Deeth wes the greet victor 
I' races far an' wide ! " 

Life lost withoot a warnin'. 
An' stopt yor short but grand koreer, 
Then left us stricken, moumin'. 
Deprived o' wor greet pride ; 
Hoo me heart it beats, — iv'rybody greets, 
As the whisper runs throo dowley streets, 
** We've lost poor Jimmy Renforth, 
The Champein o' Tyneside 1 " 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

James Clephan. 


James Clephan. 

|OWN to the time when the repeal of taxes on knowledge 
rendered it possible for the provinces to enjoy the laxary 
of a daily newspaper, there floarished in the two npper- 
most counties of England an editor who occupied a unique 
position in journalism. He was poet and humourist, as 
well as journalist and man of letters, and his paper, 
although issued from a small town, and overshadowed by 
the venerable and stately press of a great commercial 
metropolis, had a far-reaching and wide-spreading influence, was scissored 
and quoted by every other editor in the kingdom, and was known by name 
to the majority of English-speaking people everywhere. The newspaper 
was The Gateshead Observer ; the editor James Clephan. 

James Clephan was born at Monkwearmouth Shore, on the 17th of 
March, 1804, the second son of Robert Clephan, of Stockton, baker. He 
was educated at Stockton, and began the serious business of life there as an 
apprentice to Mr. Eales, printer. When his indentures expired he migrated 
to the Modern Athens, and found employment in the offices of Messrs. 
Ballantine, who were then printing the Waverley novels. Three years 
spent in that occupation qualified him for something better. The sub- 
editorship of The Leicester Chronicle became vacant ; it was conferred upon 
him, and he entered into active journalism. 

Soon after the accession of the Queen, The Gateshead Observer^ a com- 
paratively young and unknown paper, lost its editor. It was an organ of 
the Whig party in North Durham, and Mr. Clephan was a Liberal. He 
came, saw, and conquered, and thereupon begun that remarkable career 
which is indicated in the opening paragraph of this brief memoir. For 
two and twenty years, wit and wisdom, politics and poetry, local lore and 
ancient story flowed, commingling, from his pen— terse, crisp, sharp and 
clear. When the end of his brilliant editorship arrived, in 1860, represen- 
tatives of every class in the flourishing communities between Tweed and 
Tees combined to do him honour. 

Mr. Clephan did not, however, abandon his profession altogether when 
he left TJie Gateshead Observer, After a short interval of repose, he became 
a free lance on those famous newspapers of Mr. Joseph Cowen, The New- 
castle Daily and Weekly Chronicles— writing as the humour seized him, and 
upon subjects congenial to his tastes. For a number of years he conducted, 
in the pages of The Weekly Chronicle, a special column devoted to the past 
life of the Northern counties, wrote papers for the Newcastle Society of 
Antiquaries, contributed to the press sketches of departed worthies, and 
*• helped the living to immortalise the dead." So he continued till the ripe 
age of fourscore years, when the infirmities of age compelled him to retreat 
within the protection of his chamber. There his high spirits and genial 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

78 'V^^^ North Country Poets, 

temperament enabled him to prolong life beyond the allotted span. With 
calm and onclouded mind he surveyed his lot ; with nndimmed eye and 
unfailing memory he awaited the end. His bedside for many months was 
the Meooa of literary pilgrimage in the North of England, and he was able 
to sustain the burden and enjoy the visits of his friends until the last fort- 
night of his life. On the morning of the 25th February, 1888, he passed 
away, and a few days later, with mayors and magistrates, editors and 
professors, clergymen and councillors, standing around, he was buried 
among his kindred in Jesmond Cemetery, Newcastle. 



Annette with her sister Tib, 

By the cottage fireside sits ; 
Bobin smokes his evening pipe ; 

Susan, near him, knits and knits. 
** Hist "— *' 'Tis nothing I "—why then flash 

Nan's dark eyes with brighter glow ? 
Why that blush upon her cheek ? — 

Tib is at no loss to know. 

Ha ! Nanette I 

'* Knit, knit, knit," the needles go — 

" Tick, tack, tick," the clock replies; 
Through his smoke-wreaths, ** Where's Nanette ? " 

Bobin to his good dame cries ; 
Mother knows not, nor will Tib, 

Cunning little damsel, own. 
Though she heard the tap, before 

Sister Nan was softly flown. 

Where's Nanette ? 

Annette, in the garden- walk, 

Shaded by the woodbine, stands : 
Not alone I a whispered tale. 

Old as Eve, her ear commands ; 
Hal is gazing in her face — 

Never was there face so fair — 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

James Clephan. 79 

Glistening in the starbeam pale, 
Veil'd in woven twilight there. 

Sweet Annette I 

" Good night I "— " Good night ! "—and gently Nan 

Lifts up the latch, and to her seat 
Demurely glides, her little heart 

Almost too full of bhss to beat ! — 
Ah ! young romance ! — that shall in Nan 

And Harry, as in Bob and Sue, 
Be sober'd down — till calmly they 

Shall smoke and knit together, too. 
Yes, Nanette I 


Cocken Woods are green and fair. 

Year to year the wild flowers blow ; 
Spring succeeds to Winter's snow, 

Summer follows Christmas bare. 

Song-birds from their slumber wake, 
Fill with sound the ravish'd ear. 
Swell the music of the Wear, 

Build their nests in bush and brake. 

Where the waters gush and glide. 
Leaf and flower of every tinge 
Shady footpaths sweetly fringe. 

Winding by the river side. 

From the cliffs and from the grass, 
Nosegays wild the children glean. 
Bed and blue, and white and green. 

Jocund as they gleesome pass. 

Finchale Abbey old and grey, 

Buin'd, roofless, wintry, hoar. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

8o North Country Poets. 

Knows its summer pride no more, 
Moulders, moulders, to decay. 

Prior Uhtred's shade may haunt 

Cloisters once his cherish'd home, 
Gliding soft by Godric's tomb, 

Listening for the choral chant. 

Looking for his letter 'd lore — 
Jerome, Bede, Eusebius, all 
Ready at his beck and call — 

Beady once, but now no more. 

Never more the dying hours 

Finchale*s horologe shall knell, 
Echoing the mother-bell, 

Sounding from fair Durham's towers. 

But these ruins linger still, 

Mutely murmuring ** Never more," 
And, where planted down of yore. 

Blooms the yellow daffodil. 

Blooms, and marks the garden site. 

Where the monks grew fruit and flower, 
Root and herb of healing power- 
Cool retreat for calm delight. 

Faithful flower ! to moth and rust 

Finchale's monks thou wilt not give : 
Thou wilt have their memory live, 

Fair and fragrant in the dust. 

Thus may we, who fain would fill 
Some small space in human eye 
When entomb'd in earth we lie. 

Plant on earth some Daffodil. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

James Clephan. 8i 


Downward sinks the setting sun, 
Soft the evening shadows fall : 
Light is flying, 
Day is dying, 
Darkness stealeth over all. 
Good night I 

Autumn garners in her stores, 

Foison of the fading year : 

Leaves are dying, 

Winds are sighing, 

Whispering of the winter near. 

Good night ! 

Youth is vanish'd — manhood wanes- 
Age its forward shadows throws : 
Day is dying. 
Years are flying, 
Life runs onward to its close. 
Good night I 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

82 North Country Poets. 

Ben Brier ley. 

Brierley is best known as a prose writer, but although 
B fame depends chiefly upon his skill as a story-teller, 
id as a delineator of Lancashire life and character, 
5 has written verse of excellent quality. Probably his 
putation as poet would be greater if his reputation as 
)yelist and humourist were less. 

Mr. Benjamin Brierley was born at the Rocks, a 

ttage on the Rochdale Canal at Failsworth, 26th June, 

1825. His father, who had been a gunner in the Artillery, was a handloom 
weaver. Mr. Brierley has in his " Home Memories " given a graphic and 
interesting account of the struggles and hardships of his early days. He 
received the rudiments of education chiefly in the night school and Sunday 
school, and after a brief experience of the factory, became a velvet-weaver. 
He was present at the " plug drawings " in the Great Strike of 1842. 
Afterwards he was employed in a Manchester silk-warehouse, and having 
utilised his opportunities for self -improvement, was encouraged by Elijah 
Ridings to send some of his verses to the Oddfellows' Magazine, which was 
then edited by another Manchester author, John Bolton Rogerson. His 
increasing interest in literature led him to write *' A Day Out," in which 
he describes a walk from Manchester to Daisy Nook, and sketches the quaint 
characters to be found gathered in the rooms of " Red Bill's " village hostelry. 
This little book was an instantaneous success. How well does the present 
writer remember the delight with which he read it in the first week of its 
appearance I It was evident that a new writer had arisen capable of 
interpreting the homely joys and sorrows, the stoical endurance, and the 
love of fun of the Lancashire lads and lasses. The promise of this early 
performance was fully maintained by '• The Chronicles of Waverlow," 
♦* Marlocks of Merriton," " The Cotters of Mossburn " and ♦• Irkdale.'' 
If these do not all show the freshness of his first work, they evidence the 
ripening and mellowness that come from wider contact with the world. 

Ben Brierley' 8 Journal has been issued since 1869, and has helped to 
make the editor's name the household word it now is in Lancashire and 
the North of England. 

Of his poems, the " Epistle to Ned Waugh," ♦♦ Monody on the Death of 
Charles Swain," and the brief *• In Memoriam " of his own daughter, are 
excellent ; " The Wayver of Welbrook " is a bit of characteristic Lancashire 
philosophy ; and the " Waverlow Bells " has a homely pathos that goes 
direct to the heart. 

WHiiJAM E. A. Axon. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Ben Brierley, 83 



Only child of Ben and Esther Brierley ; Bom November 7th, 1866 ; 
Died Jane 13th, 1875. 

We thought she was our own for yet awhile ; 
That we had earned her, by our love of Heav'n, 
To be a life's comfort, not a season's smile. 
Then tears for ever. ** 'Tis to be forgiven," 
We deemed her mortal — not an angel sent 
From out a mission host, on mercy bent. 

We were beguiled by her sweet ways of love — 
The growth of her affections round two stems — 
As if they were of her, and from above. 
We did not note that from her heart the gems 
Of her devotion were bestrewn in showers 
Where'er she went, and gathered like spring flowers. 

And her last words (coherent) — *' I have lived, 
And have not lived," — were full of earthly tone 
And utterance. They, too, our hearts deceived ; 
Kor were we mindful till, when left alone. 
We heard the flutter of a dove-like wing, 
And a sweet strain, such as the seraphs sing. 

Then knew we she had come in mortal guise. 
To teach us love, and charity, and grace ; 
With sungold in her hair, heaven in her eyes, 
And all that's holy in her preaching face. 
The scales had fallen, and our vision then 
Saw that an angel graced the homes of men. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

84 North Country Poets. 


Yo gentlemen o wi' yor heawnds and yor parks, 

Yo may gamble an' sport till yo dee ; 
But a quiet heause-nook, — a good wife an' a book, 

Are more to the likins o' mee-ee, — 

Wi' mi pickers and pins, 
An' my wellers to th' shins, 
My linderins, shuttle, an' yealdhook ; 
My treddles an' sticks, 
My weight-ropes an* bricks, — 
What a life ! — said the wayver o' Welbrook. 

I care no' for titles, nor heauses, nor lond, — 

" Owd Jone's " a name fittin' for me : 
An' gi' me a thatch, wi' a wooden dur latch, 

An' six feet o' greaund when I dee-ee, — 
Wi' my pickers, &c. 

Some folks liken t' stuff ther owd wallets wi' mayte 
Till they're as reaund an' as brawsen as frogs ; 

But for me I'm content, when I've paid deawn my rent, 
Wi' enoogh t' keep me up i' my clogs-ogs, — 
Wi' my pickers, &c. 

An' some are too idle to use their own feet. 

But mun keawer an' gallop i'th' lone ; 
But when I'm wheelt or carried, it'll be to get buried. 

An' then — Dicky-up wi' owd Jone-one, — 
Wi' my pickers, &c. 

Yo may turn up yor noses at me an' th' owd dame, 

An' thrutch us like dogs again th' wo' ; 
But as lung's I con nagur, I'll ne'er be a beggar, — 

So I care no' a rap for yo' 0-0, — 

Wi' my pickers, &c. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Ben Brierley. 85 

Neaw, Margit, turn reawn that owd hum-a-drum wheel, 

An' my shuttle shall fly like a brid ; 
An' when I no lenger con use hont or finger, 

They'll say when I could do I did-id, — 

Wi' my pickers, &c. 


Old Jammie and Ailse went adown the brook side 
Arm-in-arm, as when young, before Ailse was a bride ; 
And what made them pause near the Holly bank ^Vells ? 
'Twas to list to the chimes of the Waverlow bells. 

** How sweet," said old Jammie, '' how sweet on the ear, 
Gomes the ding-donging sound of yon curfew, my dear 1 " 
But old Ailse ne'er replies, for her bosom now swells — 
Oh, she'd loved in her childhood those Waverlow bells. 

** Thou remember'st," said Jammie, ** the night we first met, 
Near the Abbey field gate — the old gate is there yet — 
When we roamed in the moonlight o'er fields and through dells, 
And our hearts beat along with those Waverlow bells. 

" And then that wakes morning so early at church, 
When I led thee a bride through the old ivy porch, 
And our new home we made where the curate now dwells, 
And we danced to the music of Waverlow bells. 

And when that wakes morning came round the next year, 
How we bore a sweet child to the christ'ning font there ; 
But our joy peals soon changed to the saddest of knells, 
And we mourned at the sound of the Waverlow bells." 

Then in silence a moment the old couple stood, 

Their hearts in the churchyard, their eyes on the flood ; 

And the tear as it starts a sad memory tells — 

Oh ! they heard a loved voice in those Waverlow bells. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

86 North Country Poets, 

** Our Ann," said old Ailse, *' was the fairest of girls ; 
She had heaven in her face, and the sun in her curls ; 
Now she sleeps in a bed where the worm makes its cells, 
And her lullaby's sung by the Waverlow bells." 

*' But her soul," Jammie said, " she'd a soul in her eyes, 
And their brightness is gone to its home in the skies ; 
We may meet her there yet where the good spirit dwells. 
When we'll hear them no more — those old Waverlow bells." 

Once again — only once — the old couple were seen 
Stepping out in the gloaming across the old green, 
And to wander adown by the Hollybank Wells, 
Just to list to the chimes of the Waverlow bells. 

Now the good folks are sleeping beneath the cold sod. 
But their souls are in bliss with their daughter and God ; 
And each maid in the village now mournfully tells 
How old Jammie and Ailse loved the Waverlow bells. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

James Ashcroft Noble, 


James Ashcroft Noble. 

|NE of our most genial men of letters, a writer whose pen is 
equally graceful in prose and verse, and who has enriched 
with many choice contributions the periodical literature 
of the day, is Mr. James Ashcroft Noble, now of South- 
port, author of ** The Pelican Papers," '* Morality in 
Fiction," "Verses of a Prose Writer," and literary 
editor of the Manchester Examiner. Mr. Noble was born 
in Liverpool in the year 1844. His father was the son 
of a Westmoreland yeoman, or "statesman," and for forty years held 
a responsible position under the Pilotage Committee of the port of 
Liverpool ; his mother was the daughter of a Liverpool merchant. 
James Ashcroft, the eldest of five children, received part of his education at 
the Liverpool College, and part at a private school conducted by Mr. Alfred 
Parkin, some time a master at the College. To this preceptor young Noble 
was warmly attached, and he seems to have iired the lad's love of literature 
and led him to aspire to the literary life. It was intended that after leaving 
school Ashcroft Noble should enter Trinity College, Dublin, but being in 
delicate health the design had to be abandoned. He was placed in a solici- 
tor's office with a view to being articled, but in a few months time this also 
had to be relinquished owing to ill-health. Thereafter for some years 
young Noble was obliged to forego the earning of his own livelihood, and to 
pass much time at various health-resorts, his parents' means fortunately 
enabling this to be done. But he was not idle during this period ; he not 
only read voraciously, but contributed prose and verse to various periodicals. 
Taking a lively interest in the theological controversies of the day, then con- 
cerned with the memorable " Essays and Beviews," the first productions of 
his pen which were honoured with print were a series of brief articles on *♦ The 
Present Crisis in the Church," which appeared in the Liverpool Mercury, 
From that beginning as a writer he contributed various articles and poems 
to All the Year Bounds Ghambers^s Jouriial, The Victoria Magazine^ and other 
periodicals. When The Liverpool Albion was turned into a daily paper he 
was offered his first regular literary work on its staff, in the capacity of 
principal reviewer. While he filled that position Mr. Noble also published 
his first work, *• The Pelican Papers," now out of print. This volume, 
which appeared at the end of 1872, was a series of sketches, verse, philoso- 
phical, and literary essays, purporting to be " the reminiscences and remains 
of a dweller in the Wilderness." One of its sketches gives Mr. Noble's 
experiences of hydropathic establishments, and bore the title "Society 
under Water," The Albion was short-lived as a morning daily. Mr. 
Noble's next literary appointment was the editorsliip of the Liverpool Argusy 
a weekly critical, political, and social journal, which was started about 1875. 
It was as a contributor to this journal that the writer of this sketch first 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

88 North Country Poets. 

made Mr. Noble's acquaintance, and he can bear testimony to the kindness 
and consideration Mr. Noble always showed to the members of his literary 
staff. The Argus had some noted contributors while it remained under Mr. 
Noble's editorship. Among them were Miss Frances Power Cobbe, Pro- 
fessor Dowden, the late Professor Graham, Mr. T. H. Hall Gaine, the 
popular novelist (author of ** The Deemster," " A Son of Hagar," &c.), 
some of whose earliest literary efforts saw light in its columns, Mr. Wm. 
Watson, a poet of considerable power, Mr. W. S. Gaine, now M.P. for Barrow, 
and others who have become public men. The Argus was too high class a 
publication for Philistine Liverpool, and was not a success pecuniarily. 
Mr. Noble resigned the editorship after carrying it on for about eighteen 
months, though its publication was continued in a rather different form 
for two or three years longer. In 1878 Mr. Noble became a regular writer 
for the Spectator, In the same year an article of his on '* The Sonnet 
in England," which appeared in the Contemporary Review^ gained him a 
name as an authority on that particular form of poetic composition, in 
which much of his own verse is cast. In 1880 he removed to London, 
and became contributor to several important weekly and leading monthly 
magazines. In 1884 Mr. Noble was prostrated by a severe attack of para- 
lysis. Professor Ferrier, considered the first authority of the day on brain 
affections, was called in and at once pronounced the case to be a hopeless 
one, and recovery impossible. Bemembering how, during previous illnesses, 
Mr. Noble had benefitted by the air of Southport, however, his friends, 
notwithstanding this grave verdict, had him removed thither, with the 
gratifying result that Mr. Noble slowly began to recover. Though 
he did not entirely regain his former vigour, he was able by degrees 
to resume his literary labours. He was appointed reviewer or literary 
editor to the Manchester Examiner y and with that work, and writing for the 
Spectator and Academy ^ has chiefly occupied himself since his recovery . Mr. 
Noble occasionally lectures on literary topics. One series of his lectures 
on '• The Gurrent of Morality in English Fiction," was published in 1886 in 
book form. In 1887 he collected from various quarters where they had 
appeared a number of his poems, and issued them, with additional unpub- 
lished pieces, in a volume entitled '♦ Verses of a Prose Writer " (Edinburgh : 
David Douglas, publisher). The author's intention in selecting this title, 
was to indicate that he made no pretensions to be considered a poet. Never- 
theless many of his verses show true poetic feeling. They are graceful and 
musical, and although many of them are pitched in the minor key, probably 
owing to the severe afflictions the writer has suffered, they breathe high 
hopes and present elevated views of life, as well as idealising the joys of the 
domestic circle. Mr. Noble married in 1873 the lady to whom he had previ- 
ously dedicated his *' Pelican Papers." One of the greatest sorrows of his 
life was the loss of his first-bom son, Philip, to whom he was passionately 
attached. A section of his volume of poetry — " In Memoriam — Philip " — 
is devoted to the memory of this beloved child. One of our specimens of 
verse is from this section, and it also makes a touching reference to his 
own affliction. 

Jesse Quail. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

James Ashcroft Noble. 89 


A MoDEBN Ballad. 

Among the hills of India 

Dwelt warriors fierce and bold, 
The sons of robber chieftains 

Who, in the days of old 
Fought for their mountain freedom, 

And, if by Fate laid Jow, 
Fell ever crowned with honour — 

Their faces to the foe. 

Now 'twas an ancient custom 

Among those hillsmen brave. 
When thus they found their kinsman, 

To dig for him no grave ; 
But the torn blood-stained garments 

They stripped from off the dead, 
And then his wrist they circled 

With green or crimson thread. 

Many the green-decked warriors, 

But only for a few 
Was kept that highest honour. 

The thread of sanguine hue ; 
For 'twas alone the bravest 

Of those who nobly shed 
Their life-blood in the battle 

Whose wrists were bound with red. 

And when they thus had graced them 

Who fell before the foe, 
They hurled their lifeless bodies 

Into the plain below. 
The earth did ne'er imprison 

Those hillsmen brave and free. 
The sky alone should cover 

The warriors of Trukkee. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

90 North Country Poets. 

There came a time of conflict, 

And a great armM throng 
Of England's bravest soldiers, — 

Avengers of the wrong,— 
Marched through the gloomy gorges. 

Forded the mountain rills, 
Vowing that they would vanquish 

Those robbers of the hills. 

The road was strange and dubious ; 

Easy it was to stray ; 
And of those English soldiers 

Eleven lost their way. 
Led by a trusty leader, 

They reached a fearful glen, 
And saw a mountain stronghold 

Guarded by forty men. 

Guarded by forty veterans 

Of that fierce robber band ; 
In every face defiance, 

Weapons in every hand. 
«* Back I " cried the trusty leader ; 

The soldiers would not hear, 
But up the foe-crowned mountain 

Charged with their English cheer. 

With loud huzzas they stormed it. 

Nor thought to turn from death, 
But for old England's honour 

Yielded their latest breath. 
Short was the fight but deadly, 

For when our last man fell, 
But sixteen of the forty 

Were left the tale to tell. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

James Ashcroft Noble, 91 

Bat those sixteen were noble — 

They loved a brave deed done ; 
They knew a worthy foeman, 

And treated him as one. 
And when the English soldiers 

Sought for their comrades slain, 
They fonnd their stiff stark corpses 

Prostrate upon the plain ; 
They lay with blood-stained faces, 

Fixed eyes, and firm-clenched fists, 
But the Red Thread of Honour, 

Was twined around their wrists. 


The wife of Peter Wright, one of the men who perished in the Bouth- 
port life-hoat, 10th Decemher, 1886, was prematurely confined on the day 
following the disaster ; and the baby, which was still-born, was placed on 
its father's arm as he lay in his coffin, and buried with him. 

Father and child together lie at rest, 

The storm- worn man, the babe all undefiled ; 
God's voice has blessed them and they shall be blest — 
Father and Child. 

When by fierce wind black wave on wave was piled, 
And Death came hurrying on the billow's crest, 

One passed to peace amid the tempest wild ; 
Storm-spared, the other finds a tranquil nest : 

And now to both Death's face seems sweet and mild ; 
Calmly they sleep, man's breast to baby's breast — 
Father and Child. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

92 North Country Poets. 

AUTUMN, 1885. 

[From •* In Memoriam — Philip."] 

Yes, Autumn comes again and finds me here ; 
Last year I thought I should be otherwhere, 
Than 'mid these fading falling leaves : for there, 
Beneath life's tree whose leaves are never sere 
But green throughout the great eternal year, 
I thought to lie, and breathe the tranquil air. 
And see my boy who, being for earth too fair, 
Is fairer still in that celestial sphere. 
Perchance for me his little heart did yearn ; 
Haply to meet me at the golden gate 
He oft would wander, stand awhile, and turn 
Away to cry, " My father lingers late." 
Content thee, little one ; my heart doth burn 
For thee as thine for me, but God says ** Wait ! " 


Christmas Eve, 1880. 

Thy prayer is granted ; thou hast joined the Choir 

Invisible ; the Choir whose music makes 

Life's discords grow to harmonies, and takes 

Us unawares with sounds that are as fire 

And light and melody in one. We tire 

Of weary noon and night, of dawn that breaks 

Only to bring again the cares, the aches. 

The meannesses that drag us to the mire : 

When lo ! amid life's din we catch thy clear 

Large utterance from the lucid upper air, 

Bidding us wipe away the miry stain. 

And scale the stainless stars, and have no fear 

Save the one dread of forfeiting our share 

In the deep joy that follows noble pain. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Samuel Waddington. 


Samuel Waddington. 

^AMUEL Waddington was born at Boston Spa, Yorkshire, 
in the year 1844. His ancestors, at the time of the 
Commouwealth, lived at East Rigton, a little hamlet 
adjoining Bardsey where the poet Congreve is said to 
have been born, and from this village they removed to a 
house known as Oglethorpe Hall, and afterwards to 
Boston Spa. He was educated at St. John's School, 
Huntingdon, and at Brasenose College, Oxford, where he 
took his B.A. degree ia 1865. While at Oxford, Mr. Waddington sat for a 
while at the feet of Dr. Pusey, attending the lectures on divinity which 
that illustrious founder of the High Church school delivered in his own 
private room at Christ Church. He does not, however, appear to have 
been greatly influenced by Pusey's teaching, for when, after leaving the 
University, he began to prepare for ordination, he found that his views 
would not permit him to subscribe to the Articles of the Church of 
England, and he conseqtiently relinquished his original intention of being 
ordained, and having obtained a nomination from the Duke of Bichmond 
for a vacancy at the Board of Trade, he entered that department, in which 
he has now worked for many years. 

During his leisure hours he has adopted literature as his lahorum dulce 
lenimeni and more especially the literature connected with the history and 
composition of the '• Sonnet." A few years ago, at the suggestion of a friend 
(Mr. Austin Dobson), he determined on publishing a selection of '' English 
Sonnets by Living Writers " (Geo. Bell & Sons, London, 1881) ; and to this 
selection he appended an essay on the " Sonnet " and its history. Of this 
volume a second edition, enlarged, was published in 1884, in which year Mr. 
Waddington also published a volume of his own poems entitled, " Sonnets 
and Other Verse," and respecting these the best equipped of our sonnet 
critics observed in the Academy that they prove that the author is 
** not merely a tasteful collector of these cameos of verse, but a cunning and 
delicate carver, whose carefully cut gems future collectors will not despise." 
In addition to the above he has also published a selection of " English 
Sonnets by Poets of the Past " (Bell and Sons, 1882) ; and a volume 
of translated sonnets entitled, *♦ Sonnets of Europe " (Walter Scott, 1886), 
of which a second edition has just been issued ; as well as a selection of 
religious verse, entitled, ** Sacred Song." 

Mr. Waddington is further known as the biographer of the poet Arthur 
Hugh Clough, to whose writings his own compositions appear to bear con- 
siderable affinity as regards thought and subject matter ; but it is as a 
sonnet writer and sonnet critic that he is especially distinguished. 

Contributions from his pen will be found in Mr. Davenport Adams' 
"Latter-Day Lyrics," Mr. Andrew Lang's "Ballads of Books," Mr. 
William Sharp's " Sonnets of this Century," and Mr. Gleeson White's 
" Ballades and Bondeaus." 

B. J. LiSTEB. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

94 North Country Poets. 


** And reddening Phabue lifts his golden fire.'* — Gray. 

Now o'er the topmost pine, 
The distant pine-clad peak, 
There dawns a golden streak 
Of light, an orient line : — 

Phcebus, the light is thine, 
Thine is the glory, — seek 
Each dale and dewy creek. 
And. in full splendour shine ! 

Thy steeds now chafe and fret 
To scour the dusky plain : 
Speed forth with flashing rein, 

Speed o'er the land, and yet, 
Pray, linger in this lane. 
Kissing each violet. 


So quiet, yet so quaint ! Shall curfew toll 

The knell of days departed ? Nay, draw near, — 
The sovran balm of peace and rest is here ! 
From street to street lethargic waters roll, 
And like the symbols of an ancient scroll 

The houses breathe an old-world atmosphere : 
Grim Gomarists are gone, nor will we fear 
Lest wiser Zwinglians they again control. 
Yet hush I High in the trees, around the church. 
The rooks are holding synod, — can the dead 
Unrestful rise, and wrangle over-head ? 
Then for the Gomarists we need not search I 
But Dort, — Dort doffs their robe of * graceless ' gloom. 
And wears her tall magnolias in full bloom. 
Dort, 1884. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Samuel Waddington. 95 


We know not yet what life shall be, 

What shore beyond earth's shore be set ; 
What grief awaits us, or what glee, 
We know not yet. 

Still, somewhere in sweet converse met. 
Old friends, we say, beyond death's sea 

Shall meet and greet us, nor forget 

Those days of yore, those years when we 
Were loved and true, — but will death let 

Our eyes the longed-for vision see ? 
We know not yet. 


At Nebra, by the Unstrut, — 
So travellers declare,— 
There stands an ancient tavern, 
It is the ' Inn of Care ' : — 
To all the world 'tis open ; 
It sets a goodly fare ; 
And every soul is welcome 
That deigns to sojourn there. 

The landlord with his helpers, 
(He is a stalwart host), 
To please his guest still labours 
With * bouilli ' and with • roast ' ; 
And ho ! he laughs so roundly, 
He laughs, and loves to boast 
That he, who bears the beaker 
May live to share the ' toast.' 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

96 North Country Poets. 

Lucus a non lucendo — 

Thus named might seem the inn, 

So careless is its laughter, 

So loud its merry din ; 

Yet ere to doubt its title 

You do, in sooth, begin. 

Go, watch the pallid faces. 

Approach and pass within. 

To Nebra, by the Unstrut, 
May all the world repair 
And meet a hearty welcome, 
And share a goodly fare ; 
The world ! 'tis worn and weary — 
'Tis tired of ^ilt and glare I 
The inn ! 'tis named full wisely, 
It is the * Inn of Care I ' 


His spirit is in apogee ! To-night 

Far from our earth he speeds ; — he heeds no more 

The long waves breaking on life's echoing shore : 

Lo, Truth, his aureole, as heaven grows bright ; 

And Faith, his carcanet, as chrysolite 

'Mid soul-wrought gems gleams thro' the opening door 

Of purest Innocence ; — on wings that soar 

Thro' cloud-girt vistas to the Infinite, 

Upward he journeys, and what limitless scope, 

What boundless prospects to his vision rise — 

What thrones, how fair I and oh, how full of hope 

The heavenly mansions and the star-built skies ! 

— Yet love, dear love ! behold, the day shall be, 

Earthward he will return, and kneel to thee. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

John Richardson. 


John Richardson. 

^HE Camberland dialect aboands in valuable illaBtrations 
of the life and manners of an interesting people. Many 
men and women have made it the vehicle of noble thought 
and high aspiration, and among these almost onknown 
writers John Kichprdson takes a high place. 

He was born at Piper House, Naddle, near Keswick, 
on the 20th August, 1817, and he died at Bridge House, 
St. John's-in-the-Vale, on the 30th April, 1886. He 
received a somewhat limited education at the schoolhouse in " the narrow 
valley " celebrated by Sir Walter Scott in his " Bridal of Triermain," after- 
wards taking upon himself his father's trade, that of a mason, of which, we 
are assured he made himself a proficient master. Early in life he began to 
take building contracts on his own account, and many houses and farm 
buildings in his own neighbourhood, and alst) in the town of Keswick, testify 
to the efficient and substantial character of his work. His operations 
included the church, the parsonage, and the school-house in St. John's 
Vale ; Derwent place in Keswick, and other houses in the town and 
district. I make special mention of these trade achievements in order to 
point out the singular solidity and thoroughness of the poet's dual character. 
In this calling he continued about a quarter of a century, and then 
exchanged it for the more congenial, though perhaps, no less arduous toil 
of teaching his neighbours' children in the new school which he had built. 
He held the office of school-master for about 27 years, and relinquished it 
11 months prior to his death. 

He married at 23, and had a large family, the rearing of which was 
doubtless a matter of frequent solicitude to him : nevertheless, Mr. 
Bichardson found leisure to mirror the spiritual side of his nature in the 
vigorous and expressive folk-speech of his native county. Some few of 
his productions appeared at scattered intervals in the Cumberland news- 
papers, or were printed on leaflets for private circulation amongst his 
friends. It was not until 1871, when he had traversed the half -century, 
and four years beyond it, that his first book was issued to the public. This 
was " Cummerland Talk," which consists of short tales and poems in the 
dialect of his district. A second series of this work followed in 1876. The 
volumes were published by George Coward, of Carlisle, and met with 
genuine and well deserved success on their own inherent merits. 

The book was highly praised by the late Dr. Gibson, who is admitted 
to have been the most skilful writer in the county vernacular ; and a true 
test of its popularity may be found in the fact that nearly every dalesman 
or '* statesman " in the country-side possesses a copy. All educated fell- 
siders can quote from it at will, and it is a household treasure which 
shares with the universally popular poems of Burns the unqualified 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

gS North Country Poets. 

admiration of the people. Within a somewhat narrower district, John 
Richardson's book is to the Oamberland " statesmen " what Edwin 
Waugh's poems are to the Lancashire people: both poets have the 
magnetism of nature very strongly developed in all their works, with its 
irresistible and indescribable appeal. 

In addition to this book, Mr. Richardson has contributed several 
useful and interesting papers to the local literary and scientific societies, 
some of which have been published in the ** Transactions " of the County 
Association. In the records of the Keswick Society, seven papers are 
catalogued as having been read by him at meetings of the society on the 
dates undermentioned :— Nov. 29th, 1875—" The Cumberland Dialect and 
the Bards who have written in it " ; Nov. 6th, 1876—** Old Customs and 
Usages of the District " ; Nov. 5th, 1877—'* The Superstitions once common 
in the Lake District '* ; Dec. 2nd, 1878—** Sports and Pastimes in the Lake 
Country " ; Feb. 21st, 1881 — ** Cumberland before the Union with Scot- 
land "; Dec. 5th, 1881—** Scottish Life and Character " ; Feb. 18th, 1881— 
** The Dialects of the Lake Country." This list of works is an interesting 
one, and the papers contain much matter that is elsewhere unobtainable. 
In 1879 or 1880, Mr. Richardson contributed to the columns of the We^t 
Cumberland Tiniest under the appropriate title of ** Stwories 'at Ganny uset 
to tell," a series of sketches and anecdotes illustrative of life in the Cum- 
berland dales in the time of the grandfathers of the present generation. 
These scenes and incidents were of actual occurrence, and they are graphi- 
cally portrayed in the language used by the original narrator, the poet's 

Some of his poems, such as ** John Crozier's Tally-ho " and ** Laal 
Isaac " — both stirring ballads of the chase — are still to be recognized as 
constant favourites at festive gatherings of hunters. ** It's Nobbut Me," 
which is here given as an example of his simple, yet strong and touching, 
descriptive power, is the most popular of his writings, and it is generally 
believed that a personal experience is narrated in the lyric. ** Git Ower 
Me 'at Can,'' *'Auld Scheul Frinds" and **Auld Jwohnny' Hoose " are 
also very graphic and remarkable for their roughness, truth, and fulness of 
nature. I select three poems, however, which are very popular, and which 
I hope may prove interesting to the public. 

Personally, Mr. Richardson was a quiet, estimable man, slow to speak, 
but to the purpose when he did speak, and always working either with his 
hands or his head. He was a general favourite, and I have all the more 
pleasure in laying this little memorial before a wide circle of readers, when 
I recollect that I have had the privilege of attending his school for some 
little time, and am therefore entitled to add my own personal testimony as 
to his kindness, generosity, and truthfulness. He was essentially a poet of 
the people, and his verses have a great charm to all those who understand 
the dialect in which they are written. 

John Walkeb. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

John Richardson. 99 


Is't thee 'at's cum he&mm sa le&tt, Zarah ? 

I been i' bed three 'oors or mair ; 
I thowt thoo was langer nor common. 

An' lissen't an' twin't mesel sair. 

What ! hes t'er been owts iv a deii than ? 

War owts o' them Gursmer Iwok theer ? 
When I use to gang menny year sen, 
. Fwok than use to com far an' near. 

I think thoo hes somebody wi the' ; 

I hard summet talken I's seiir, 
If 't sud be that ill Charlie Timer, 

Send 'im oot gaily sharp, an' bar t' dooer. 

What ses t'e— •? O ! if it's Tom Sokelt, 
Thoo'll give 'im some pie an' some yal ; 

Thoo'll finnd t' kay i' my brutches pocket, 
An' tell 'im to mak a good me&lL 

His fadder's a gay yabble ste&tsman ; 

An' hes brass at Wakefield's an'aw ; 
An' theer nobbut Tom an' an udder, 

Thoo'll nivver dei better, I know. 

If thoo can git Tom Sokelt, Zarah, 
I'll gi' the' five hundred or mair : 

Bit if thoo taks that tudder waistrel, 
Thoo's nut hev a plack, I declare. 

I've mair nor fower thoosand at Wakefields' ; 

I dreem't yestemeet 'at t* bank brack ; 
If t' dream sud co' trew, I'll be beggart ; 

I may just tak a pwok o' me back. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

loo North Country Poets. 

I keep talken on, bit I hear nowt ; 

What, mappen oor Zarah's asleep : 
I've a hundred or two i' t'kist corner, 

An' than I've a good stock o' sheep. 

Thoer three clips o' woo up it' woo-loft ; 

Them Kendal chaps bad me elebben ; 
I thowt I sud hev twelve an' sixpence. 

An' noo', dang't, it's come 't doon to sebben. 

Sec prices ur fair beggaration ; 

I'll niver tak sebben, I's seir ; 
But whoar mun we put it neist clippin ; 

For t* woo-loft's mew't up to t' dooer. 

I's rayder sleepy, bit mappen 

I'll dream that ill dream age&n : 
Bit, what, hang them Wakefields, they'll brek nin 

If I nobbut let them ale&nn. 


I's grou'en feckless, auld, an* leimm, 
Me legs an' arms ur far fra t' se{ 

As what they use to be : 
Me back oft warks, an's seldom reet ; 
I've sce^rse a teith to chow me meat. 

An' I can hardly see. 

Bit yance I cud ha' plew't or sown, 
Or shorn me rigg, or thick gurse mown, 

Wi* enny man alive : 
An' yance, when in t' Crowpark we ran, 
(An* theer war some 'at cud run than) 

I com in t' furst o' five. 

At russelin', if I say 't mesel, 
Theer wassent menny cud me fell, 
An' theer war gooduns than : 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

John Richardson. loi 

I've rassel't oft wi' Gwordie Urn, 
An' still cud fell Im in me turn, 
An' be was neah bad man. 

An' wbo wi' me cud follow t' boonds ? 
I've travel't Skiddaw roond an* roond ; 

An' tbeer war bunters tban : 
Bit I was gayly oft wi t* furst, 
An* went wboar nobbut odduns durst. 

An' nin noo leeven can. 

An* than at fair or merry-neet, 
Nin like me cud ha' us't their feet ; 

An' tbeer war dancers tban : 
What, noo they fidge an' run aboot, 
Tbeer nowder jig, throe reel, nor nowt. 

An' steps they bevvent yan. 

When I was young, lads us't to lam 
To darce, an' run, an' russel, barn, 

'Twas few 'at larn't to read : 
Fwok thowt their barns war sharp an' reet. 
If they cud use their bands an' feet ; 

'Twas laal they car't for t' beid. 

Fwok use' to drink good be&mm brew't yal. 
It steiid on t* te&ble ivvery meMl, 

An' ye mud swig ye 're fill : 
Bit noo tbeer nowt bit swasby tea, 
Na wonder fwok sud warsent be. 

Fair snafflins they'll be still. 

This warld an' me are beJtth alike. 
We're be^th on t* shady side o' t' dyke, 

An' tumlen fast doon t' broo : 
Tbeer nowt 'at ivver yan can see, 
'At's bofe like what it use* to be ; 

Aw things ur feckless noo ! 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


North Country Poets. 


Ya winter neet, I mind it weel, 

Oor lads 'ed been at t' fell, 
An' bein tir't, went seun to bed, 

An' I sat be mesel. 
I hard a jike on t* window pane, 

An' deftly went to see ; 
Bit when I ax't, " Who's jiken theer ? " 

Says t' chap, *' It's nobbut me ! " 

*' Who's me " ? says I, '* What want ye here ? 

Oor fwok ur aw i' bed ; " 
" I dunnet want your fwok at aw, 

It's thee I want," he sed. 
*' What cant 'e want wi' me," says I ; 

'* An' who, the deuce, can't be ? 
Just tell me who it is, an' than " — 

Says he, " Its nobbut me." 

**I want a sweetheart, an' I thowt 

Thoo mebby wad an' aw ; 
I'd been a bit down t' deM to-neet. 

An' thowt 'at I wad caw ; 
What, cant 'e like me dus t'e think ? 

I think I wad like thee " — 
** I dunnet know who *t is," says I ; 

Says he, '* It's nobbut me." 

We pestit on a canny while, 

I thowt his voice I kent ; 
An' than I ste^ll quite whisht away. 

An' oot at t' dooer I went : 
I creipp, an' gat 'im be t' cwoat laps, 

'Twas dark, he cuddent see ; 
He startit roond, an' said ** Who's that ? " 

Says I, *' It's nobbut me." 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

John Richardson, 103 

An* menny a time he com ageinn, 

An' menny a time I went, 
An' Bed, *' Who's that 'at's jiken theer ? ' 

When gaily weel I kent : 
An' mainly what t' se&mm answer com 

Fra back o* t' laylick tree ; 
He sed, *' I think thoo knows who *t is ; 

Thoo knows it's nobbut me." 

It's twenty year an' mair sen than, 

An' ups an' doons we've hed ; 
An' six fine barns hev blest us be^th. 

Sen Jim an* me war wed. 
An' menny a time I've known 'im steal, 

When I'd yan on me knee. 
To mak me start, an' than wad laugh — 

Ha! Ha! *' It's nobbut me." 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

I04 North Country Poets, 

Patty Honeywood. 

RY has no sex, and shining through the warp and 
of of poesy's weh there is, as a rule, little to indicate 
lether the mind which has reflected a thought or image 
verse is that of man or woman. Perhaps,indeed, so much 
the tender and sympathetic is essential to the poetic 
aperament that, to judge in a large way, most good 
•se has something of the feminine. Therefore it is that 

) poetry of a lady may be naturally in accordance with 

what — to put it indefinitely — we expect in poetry, with the bestowal of less 
art-consciousness than in the productions of the sterner sex ; and hence, 
other things being equal, excellence in a poetess should not surprise us. In 
the early life of Patty Honeywood, we see how the germ of poetry — which 
surely lies undeveloped in many a breast, or who would read poems — may 
be early called into life. Quickened by her mother's voice repeating verses 
which seemed to the child's memory in after years to leave dim traces of 
ineffable sadness, she shewed, 'ere the period of infancy was passed, her 
strong predilection for poetry. Books of poems, often difficult for the 
young aspirant to read, and for long far above a child's comprehension, 
were yet amongst her earliest and dearest treasures. The sunshine of 
poetic example, and the rain of youthful sympathy's tears, at least made 
the germ break its prison-house. A little rhyme shot forth, and henceforth 
Ann Olivia Jackson was reputed a poetess. She scribbled books of girlish 
rhymes, and upon all juvenile festivals was expected by her school friends 
to provide poems suited to the occasion. She was born at Leeds in 1856, 
and in 1875 her poetry first appeared in the Leeds Weekly Express^ and not 
long elapsed before the readers of all the larger Yorkshire papers became 
familiar with her nom de plume j ** Patty Honeywood." In those papers her 
verses still appear, as well as in literature other than local. She has also 
written some excellent prose stories for the annuals and magazines. In 1883, 
that interesting epoch in the life of a poet — the publication of the first 
volume of verses — came to Patty Honeywood. The book went forward to its 
welcome, and every possessor hopes for its successor. 

Sweeping phrases are apt to err, yet if the qualities of Patty Honey- 
wood's poetry had to be summed up in two words, it must be pronounced sad 
and sweet. To extend our consideration a little further, it gains much of 
its power by skilful antitheses, by parallels and comparisons of thought 
continued so far and then broken off into abrupt divergencies or melting 
away into half tints of suggestion. There are evidences of deep thought in 
this, but the tuneful and poetic is never usurped by the heavy and 
speculative ; you read but to be charmed. 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Patty Honey wood. 105 


I mind me of a garden quaint, with flaunting iris flowers, 
And sloping chasm river-ward, 
And green embankment city-ward, 
Where loomed the stately towers. 

The kiss of June was on my lips, dark pansies on my breast. 
And ever flowing ocean-ward, 
With purple hazes upland-ward. 
The river sought its rest. 

I mind me when the night came down, and lights gleamed 
one by one, 

The toilers wending cottage-ward. 
The wealthy passing mansion- ward. 
Each with his labour done. 

And last of all I heard the chimes sound like a voice from God, 
A hymn to draw us other-ward, 
A prayer to draw us heaven-ward. 
Beyond the dark grave's sod. 


Let the dead past bury its dead. 

Would you have it return in part, 
Enwrapped in grave clothes to haunt 

The innermost room of your heart ? 

Embalm it with tears if you will. 
Adorn it with memory's wreaths ; 

But what is the cold clay to you — 
It neither hears nor breathes ? 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


North Country Poets. 

Oh fold its hands in peace, 
Hands once held out to you ; 

No need to murmur its name, 
It will not know if you do. 

Oh God ! is the past with Thee ? 

Shall I never see it more, 
When I turn pale and chill, 

When the battle and strife are o'er ? 

Will some other voice with sobs 

Cry out in its agony, 
And shall I sleep, calm and still, 

In the sleep that hath to be ? 


A prophet's vision vague and crude. 
Hosts wandering to and fro ; 

A Christ upon a Holy Bood, 
The shadows come and go. 

A mighty abbey's wailing crowd, 

The anthem's rise and fall ; 
The moon's cold radiance, like a shroud. 

Upon a ruined wall. 

A sepulchre with open door, 

A weeping woman's moan, 
A shriven soul on Heaven's floor, 

A God upon His throne. 

The prophet's vision is fulfilled. 

The wanderings are o'er ; 
The Christ upon the Holy Bood 

Is worshipped more and more. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Florence Jackson. 107 

Florence Jackson. 

Jackson, the younger sister of the preceding 
idely known as the author of a number of clever 
td she has also written some charming poems, 
son never writes poetry unless she is in the 
L the result is that her verses are always of 
t)le merit. Like Emerson, she believes that ** a 
t wait many days to glorify one." The same 
ay be applied to her prose writing. Miss Jackson 
never reproduces facts, or persons she knows, but allows the impressions 
conveyed by them to influence her work. Her nom dt plume is *' Flo Jack- 
son ; " but her name is Trothy Florence Brown Jackson. Miss Jackson 
was born at Leeds. 

W. A. 


There were Tracy and me, and Roily Dick 

(O the sea rolled wild and free) ; 
There were Lucy and Rose, and Marjory Daw — 

Was the sea more wild than we ? 

There were golden sands and brown-sailed boats 
(O the white-washed cots, all three) ; 

There were tall sunflowers and hollyhocks 
Higher than Tracy and me. 

But the summers went, and the summers came, 

(Roily Dick's hair turned brown). 
And the children out of the white- washed cots. 

Have stretched their wings and flown. 

There were Tracy and me, and Roily Dick 

(Tracy on Ceylon's strand), 
There were Susy and Rose, and Marjory Daw, 

Who used to be barefoot and tanned. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

io8 North Country Poets. 

The sunflowers grow by the cottage walls 
(Bose sleeps cold and still), 

She is the child of all the six, 
The others have lives to fill. 

Susy and me we tread the streets 
(Great town your smoke hangs low), 

Always together to smile or weep, 
Away from the ebb and the flow. 

Marjory Daw and Eolly Dick, 

(Madge with the sun-touched hair), 

They two ride over the wide sea's rim — 
The sands stretch lone and bare. 


The brown rocks lie on the land, just as they did of old. 

The boats go one by one, red sails gleaming gold ; 

At the foot of the giant cliff, the waves sing ever and aye, 

A dreamy song in the warm June air to the white gulls out at play. 

Then where is the change that lurks, like a hidden and secret thing 
(As green is the old cliff side, where the red-tipped daisies cling. 
And gold the buttercups shine, as ever they shone before) ? 
But the voice of the sea calls low, ** The past shall return no more." 

The hand of eternal Change is over my soul and thine. 
The past is a half-closed door, the future is thine nor mine ; 
Then come in the warm June air, lie still on the green cliff side. 
Let the world spin on to her goal, the past and the future have died. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

James Armstrong. 


James Armstrong. 

lAMES Armstrong, the poet of the moorlands that border 
on the North Tyne and the Bede, was born at Bardon 
Mill on the 19th November, 1823. He claims to be a 
lineal descendant of the famous moss-trooper, Johnnie 
Armstrong, of Gilnockie. His life, for the most part, has 
been spent near the wild and picturesque Wanny Crags. 
Not much more than a century ago this district was 
inhabited by lawless and turbulent clans, who were either 
raiding across the Border or fighting among themselves. Such an evil 
reputation had they that the Merchant Adventurers of Newcastle passed, 
in 1564, a bye-law (unrepealed till 1771) enacting that no apprentices should 
be taken "proceeding from such lewde and wicked progenitors." The 
character of the people has materially improved since the troublous times, 
but the features of the country are pretty much the same. The landscapes 
presented to the eye are either wild heathery uplands, broken here and 
there by an outcrop of crag, or quiet pastoral dales with their peat-coloured 
burns and bright strips of green haugh-land. The sounds that are borne on 
the ear are the bleating of the mountain sheep and the plaintive cry of the 
curlew. Uninteresting as these moorlands may seem to the stranger, they 
exercise a singular fascination over the hearts of the dalesmen. Armstrong 
was for some time in North America, bat this absence from his native moors 
only made them more dear to him. Lake Ontario was a poor substitute 
for Sweethope Lough, and the Beaver River for the North Tyne. Armstrong 
is now resident at Bidsdale, near Bellingham, and is well-known as an 
angler, otter-hunter, and breeder of Dandie Dinmont terriers. The few 
songs he has written are contained in a small volume entitled, " Wanny 
Blossoms," which has already passed through two editions. Interspersed 
with the poems are descriptions in prose of otter and fox hunts, together 
with a treatise on fishing with the fly, worm, minnow, and roe. 
Armstrong's muse is essentially a local muse, and the key-note to his songs 
is love for his " muirland hame." The subjects which inspire him are not 
numerous. A few lyrics in praise of his native hills and streams ; a few 
fishing and hunting songs ; some humorous sketches of local character — 
" Pencil Jack," ** Peer Oald Joe," " Johnnie the Caller," etc. ; three or 
four ditties on rustic maidens, and one or two poems on other topics, form 
Armstrong's contribution to Northumbrian verse. His poems have a 
healthy, open-air charm about them, and the descriptive touches they con- 
tain of the sights and sounds of the moorlands are usually very happy. He 
sketches in the details of the picture with loving familiarity. Here we 
have the wide moors with their knowes and flowes (their knolls and peat- 
mosses) ; their cairns and scaurs ; their wimpling burns ; the bonnie 
heather-bells ; the scarlet noops, or cloudberries ; the creeping cranberries ; 
the sweet-scented wild thyme ; the lambs lying in clusters on the sunny 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

no North Country Poets. 

brae ; the stell, or enclosure for sheep on the hill-side ; the red comb of the 
mair-cock peeping above the heather ; the whirring gorcock ; the falcon in 
the sky there with flashing wings ; the shy curlew ; the ravens hovering 
around the grey cliff; the ''lanesome" plover; the mountain -bee tooting 
his wee horn ; and the wily fox breaking away from cover while the music 
of the pack resounds through the dell. The most popular of Armstrong's 
songs is the " Wild Hills O'Wannys," but " My Muirland Hame," and 
*' Aid Crag," have certain qualities about them which entitle them to rank 
higher as poems. 



(Written when the author was on the banks of the Beaver Biver, 
North America). 

My bonnie, bonnie muirland hame, 

I rue that I left thee, 
An' a* Northumbria's hills and dales. 

To cross the Atlantic Sea. 
! gie me back my knowes^ an' flowes^, 

And tak yer wealth and fame, 
Yer boundless woods and prairies wide, 

Gie me my muirland hame. 

My heart is yet in Borderland, 

By streams an' sunny braes^, 
Where wildly wave the heather-bells. 

In the bright morning rays ; 
Where a' my dauntless clansmen true. 

That bear Gilnockie's name, 
Still proudly tell o' days of yore. 

Around my muirland hame. 

Could I but see my Wannys wild, 

An' hear the lavrocks sing ; 
Could I but see yon heathery dell, 

Where the blae-berries hing ; 

1 A knoll. 2 A peat-moss. 

3 A steep bank as the broken ground by a river side. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

James Armstrong. in 

The muir-cock's beck* could I bufc hear, 

And see his boncie kame, 
Or hear the heather-bleater* hie 

Around my muirland hame. 

Nae sparkling streams, nae yellow trouts, 

Nae heather-bells are here, 
Nor lammies loupin' on the braes, 

My longing soul to cheer. 
bear me back ! thou gallant ship, 

Across the briny faem ; 
That I may see my mountains free, 

My bonnie muirland hame. 
* To nod and clack as a strutting cock does. ^ The snipe. 


High o'er wild Wanny's lofty crest, 

Where the raven cleaves the cloud. 
An* gorcocks^ beck^ around Aid Crag 

Sae crousely^ and sae proud, 
Gurlin* thro* the glens o* Rede, 

Wi* a weird and eerie strum. ^ 
When round yon auld cot 

The winter winds they'd come. 

When Otter-caps an* Hepple Heugh, 

Hartside and Cheviots' height, 
When Peaden's peak and Darna brows 

Ance mair were clad in white. 
The fox an* otter in the snaw. 

We track'd to their den. 
An* when wo cam to the auld cot 

We were kindly welcom*d ben^. 

1 The noor-cock, or red grouse. ^ To nod and cluck as a strutting cock 
» Briskly. does 

^ Hurtling, with moaning sound. ^ A low musical note, like the tap of 
« In ; inside. a drum. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

112 North Country Poets. 

Wi* '* Fling off yer plaids an* snaw longs'^, 

We've wearied for ye lang ; 
Tak' a waught® o' whusky, lads, 

An' sing us a guid auld sang, 
Of * Kieldar Cowt,* or * Brandy Leash,' 

Or ' Johnnie o' Gilnockie ; ' 
Ye ken we like the auld sangs best, 

Sae, an auld yen let it be." 

0, then we sang the auld sangs 

We'd heard the auld folks sing, 
Of monie a gallant reiver clan, 

Wha fear'd nae lord nor king ; 
But harried the faulds baith far an' wide. 

Of wether, cowt», an' steer; 
An' when at need could wield the brand. 

An' poise the Border spear. 

An' aye we sang o* the auld times. 

An' monie a tale we tauld 
Of Tyne, and Rede, and Liddesdale, 

An' moss-troopers sae bauld ; 
Of midnight raid, an' morning fight. 

By grey peel, cairn, or stream. 
Till Fancy heard the slogan wild. 

And saw the bright steel gleam. 

An' aye we tauld the fairy tales. 

And sang the rebel sangs. 
Of dauntless Derwentwater's doom. 

An' the exil'd Stuart's wrangs ; 
We tauld of ** Barty o' the Kame," 

" Red Cap," and ** Bowrie " too. 
An' sang of ** Rob o' Risinghame," 

Until the grey cock crew. 

"^ FootlesB stockings drawn over » A large draught, 
the legs during snowy weather. » A colt. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

The Rev. E.G. Charlesworlh. 


The Rev. E. G. Charlesworlh. 

g ... . .... . ^TS 

• i 

HE Rev. E. G. Oharlesworth, Vicar of Aoklam, Middlesbro', 
is the son of the lato Edward Oharlesworth, of the firm 
of By water, Oharlesworth, & Oo., Bankers, Leeds, after- 
wards formed into *' The Leeds Oommercial Banking 
Oo.," a prosperous establishment until after the death of 
his father. It was wound up in the year 1847, paying all 
its creditors in full. Mr. Oharlesworth, who was a large 
shareholder in the bank, held a subordinate office in it 
for some time. He was educated at Bramham Vicarage, Leeds, and the 
Grammar School, and after four years of business life, was prepared for 
ordination by the Bay. T. Myers, of Sheriff Hutton Vicarage, and St. Bees 
OoUege, Oumberland. His mother was a lineal descendant of **the 
Olaphams of Beamsley, " referred to in " The White Doe of Rylstone " 
by the poet Wordsworth. 

Mr. Oharlesworth is the author of '' The Chronicles of the Ooniston 
Family,** a novel (dedicated by permission to J. Buskin, M.A., of Brant- 
wood, Ooniston), a new edition of which has just been published. A critic 
in the Morning Post wrote of it as follows : — ** It is graphically written, and 
the reader's interest is not allowe d to flag. Mixed up with the tale are 
other characters of more or less importance. The vicar and curate of 
Ooniston are among these, and are skilfully introduced into the plot. " 
" The writer's style is lively, " says the same reviewer, " his descriptions 
are vivid, and his sense of humour is not wanting.'* Mr. Oharlesworth's 
poems have appeared from time to time in current periodicals, including 
Once a Week, CasselVs Magazine^ Sunday Magazine, Sunday at Home, 
Chamhers^s, The Quiver, London Society, Sunday Talk, and others. 

Of his longest poem, *' Ecce Ohristus," in acknowledgement of a copy 
sent him, he received from the late Professor of Poetry at Oxford, Dr. 
Shairp, the following comments :— " The poem which you have sent to me 
seems, as far as I can judge, interesting in thought, and the presentation 
of it by no means common-place. Indeed the thought contained in the 
first eighteen lines of page two strikes me as original, and well put, and 
there are others like it. On the whole, your poem interested me much. It 
has a quaint peculiarity of its own, which is stimulative to thought : 
how far it would be popular, I cannot venture to say.'* 

Alfred E. Thiselton, B.A. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

114 North Country Poets. 


Higher and higher to. heavens rising 

In circuits narrowing with ascent, 

And growing self-abandonment 

That lulls the trembling of his wing» 

He poureth from his lofty stairs 

Song-floods my fancy names ** hie prayers." 

Higher and higher, — now clouds among, 
Falls to my ear a distant song 
That tells of joy and rapture grown, 
Of prayer made praise at foot of throne 
Of worship, and of inward sun 
Of "Gloria in Excelsis " won. 


' Life is serious, a journey to another end. This journey becomes, easier, 
the more the number of those we love increases in heaven." — Frmn a 
letter of the Princess Alice. 

The still air moved not stem or leaf 
Whilst shadow on a grave-let lay 
Crossed by a golden sunset ray ; 
Image, I thought, of mingled grief 
Of one knelt there with blest insight 
And light on her heart-shadows cast. 
Half sorrow's night to morning passed 
Through Faith transfigured on its height ; 
God's answer to her closed eyes 

This summer's night 

As the day dies. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

The Rev. E. G. Charleswortk. 



His grave is by a shore he loved : 
When, east winds swelled a flowing tide, 
His deepest spirit in him moved : 
Sad, made his creeds the heart of one 
Who judged him lost until he died ; 
Her love then narrow thoughts outrun ; 
And, looking back, said, " He was saved." 
Broad Christ, Thy sympathy I see 
With all this better latter rain ; 
I feel it lightening her and me : 

'* Mere error of too confident brain 
A speck, a nothing, is to Thee." 


Oh Memory, thou hast one bright page, 
A sister's love ; thy saddest one 
Is it which tells me *' she is gone ; " 
And, that a once ne*er setting sun — 
(Until through Death it seemed to set) 
Shall soften not with kindly light 
Fore-sighted griefs of coming night 
Recorded not in thy book yet. 

Yet while I read this darkened page, 
Hope adds to it — " Her love shines on 
My heart in some new form of light ; 
Its fruit may be a thought's insight — 
A thought-gift, when in sudden need 
Of judgment whither two ways lead. 
Changing a wrong first choice of will. 
That I reap good and miss some ill." 

4 =^== 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

1 1 6 North Country Poets. 


A streak of reddening light on fallen leaves, 
The parting word from a descending sun, 
Seems, motion in my heart to have begun 
Of some long dead forgotten thing which grieves : 
Some long lost early hope which prematurely died : 
I bid a swift increasing tear depart 
As if it were stolen from a woman's heart, 
Half wishful too from sight the past to hide. 
Soon, twilight's growth slow blends all shapes in one. 
Trees, *Abbey, river, daylight, disappear ; 
That dead thing sinks which in me seemed to move ; 
Love, thou art changed, yet still thy name is Love, ; 
Shines nearer heaven now thy latter sun. 
The lost looks in its light scarce worth a tear. 
• Bolton 


Sweet flower, first of Spring — Spring nursed, 
Bending white-robed to churchyard earth , 

I know the grief which made thy birth. 
This grave through winter also thine 
Hath by it no memorial line ; 
Yet mak'st thou rich its poverty, 
For, one who hither carried thee 
Meant thy lone voice to say above, 
'* Dead one, thou art not dead to love. " 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William Tirebuck. 117 

William Tirebuck. 

^ILLIAM Tirebuck was born in Liverpool in 1854. His 
early surroundings and education were those of average 
English boys. An unquenchable desire for the educating 
influences of active life led him into a merchant's office, 
on the Liverpool Exchange, at an unusually early age, 
and at office work he remained until he became correapon- 
dent and cashier. 

During these early years the pursuit of literature 
presented its attractions, and the commercial correspondent contributed 
fugitively to the Liverpool newspapers, until, finally, his inability to serve 
two masters being realised, he threw commerce over altogether, and enlisted 
in the service of one of the weeklies, and ultimately joined the Liverpool 
Mail. It was in the Mail that his first verses appeared, and it was the 
then editor of that journal who said, '* Go on with verse— let us have some 
more— it's your line," a sort of encouragement which is rare enough in the 
careers of embryo poets. Subsequently, Mr. Tirebuck was connected as 
sub-editor, literary and art critic with the Yorkshire Post for six years, 
during which period the plans of his life were more firmly laid down, his 
habits of reading and study became fixed, and the products of his labours 
began to find places in the Art Journal^ Magazine of Art, The Graphic, Times, 
The Theatre, and other popular magazines. These efforts indicated earnest- 
ness of purpose, high aims, and the poetic faculty in a marked measure. 
They were manifestly the utterances of a man who scorned trifling, and 
who essayed a solution of the serious problems of life. In style, they were 
nervous, terse, and graceful withal. Just as he had freed himself from the 
thrall of commerce, and drifted into journalism, so, with gathering 
power, he renounced journalism and commenced author craft. He deter- 
mined to become a writer of books, and with that object he has lived for 
the last three years a secluded life in a quiet cottage by the sea on the bold 
East coast of Scotland. 

As an author, William Tirebuck promises to be somewhat prolific. 
Apart from such irregular work as lecturing on " Blank Walls," " How the 
Blind see," <&c., and the occasional editing of the ** Gamelot Classics " or the 
*' Canterbury Poets," he has already published "William Daniels : Artist," 
" Dante Gabriel Rosetti : his works and influence," " Great Minds in Art," 
several songs set to music, a Dramatic Cantata for female voices, 
entitled "The Discontented Maidens," an Operetta, and many short poems. 
To these will be added in due course several works now in hand, including 
a novel at present in the press, and to be published by Messrs. W. P. Nimmo, 
Hay, and Mitchell, Edinburgh, entitled " St. Margaret," of which great 
predictions may be made ; and another novel on the desk. He has also 
in view several comedies and comediettas, a collection of short stories, 
a book of essays, and a volume of " Lays and Roundelays." 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

ii8 North Country Poets. 

It is impossible to enter into a critical examination of Mr. Tirebuck's 
claims to recognition as a poet within the space of this page. The 
following selections, however, are some guarantee of their genuineness. His 
works hitherto (whether in prose or verse) have been saturated with poetic 
fervour and expression. He realises Bailey's great conception of a poet, in 
that ** hafeeli great truths and tells them." He feels strongly, and writes 
strongly, as though the matter of his thoughts and feelings must not be 
neglected, or dealt with indifferently. He seems to be qualifying for a high 
place in literature. Already he touches the lyre with confident fingers, 
though but in the Springtide of his manhood, scattering sweet music about 
him — ^and his zenith is not yet. What that zenith may prove it is not 
difficult to predict if any faith may still be placed in the true toil and un- 
faltering trust which have carried others to the front rank of earnest 

J. Sydney Curtis. 


What agony is ours when anger drives 
In a loved one's heart our taunting point — 

E'en while it stabs, Contrition strives 
The wounded spirit to anoint. 

What wild remorse rebels, when words decline 

To burst the barrier of the breast, 
Where words of kindness, buried, whine. 

And gnaw us with the unexpressed. 

And oh, the pang, when hellish, dogged whim 
Enslaves, though heav'nly conscience pricks ; 

When words die dumb ; when, damned and grim, 
The soul is on Love's crucifix ; 

When silence fills the list'ning time and space ; 

When love its own advance awaits ; 
When choking speech declines to chase 

Away the silence that it hates ! 

And when, from out our hell of sin and shame, 

We, guilty, look across the room, 
How her freed tears but flow to blame. 

And drive us to an inward doom ; 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William Tirebuck. 


But oh, the joy, the joy I when she again 
Looks up ; when hoth, through tears, behold 

Fresh tears that give the lie to pain, 
And make our grateful weeping bold I 

Then, then, our separate silences unite ; 

Then, then, love fills the hated blank. — 
And yet that height of love's delight 

Beminds the heart how deep it sank. 


A bee was seen 

Upon the bean, 
But now is like a singing sheen 
Within the panting poppy. 

Lo, ev'ry bean 

Doth panting lean — 
Each fiow'ring eye hath heard and seen 
His music in the poppy. 

How vain her head I 

Her face, how red ! 
The wooing bee has surely said 
Some sweetness to the poppy. 

Behold the thrill 

Of both, until 
They swoon within each other's will — 
The buzzing bee and poppy I 

He's silent ; still ; 

He sips his fill. 
Although the jealous breezes chill 
His wings within the poppy. 

He's dizzy ; dead ! 

He wooed and wed, 
And died through love, the zephyrs said, 
Of that impassioned poppy. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

120 North Country Poets. 


Bare Margaret I your influence thrills 
My being with impassioned pain 

Of ecstasy, that overfills 

My deeper depths of joy again : 

I look at you — and all the world 

From thought is by your beauty hurled. 

Your eyes and lips are smile-allied, 
Bright dimples smile allied between ; 

But when your pearls are part espied, 
Why, all the smiles as one are seen, 

And shadowy hair, with laughter spread. 

Then gleams like smiles around your head. 

'Tis strange ; at times I wish you less 
Enthralling with imperial sway ; 

Your beauty more an humbleness, 
Or I less ready to obey : 

Yet, if you glance, the wish has gone, 

And I'm the willing humbled one. 

I wish your eyes less brightly dark, 
Or mine less prone their light to see — 

And yet, to strike the visual spark 
Which flames my lurking ecstasy, 

I look at you, and dread, yet dare, 

And dare, yet dread, the lightning there ! 

Yea, Margaret, your influence thrills 
My being with impassioned pain 

Of ecstacy, that overfills 

My deepened depths of joy again : 

I look at you, and all the world 

From thought is by your beauty hurled. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William Tirebuck. 121 


'* Oh, bless hor ! bless her ! bless the child ! *' 
A mother cried with love's excess ; 
" God bless my little darling Bess ! " 

And then, with rapture running wild, 
The more she kissed the more to bless. 

And soon, when Bess ran off to play 
The mother to a doll of wood. 
She said, as on her knee it stood, 

*' Oh, bless you, darling, night and day ! 
I love you, just as mother would ! " 

** Oh, bless you, bless you — do you hear ? 

Oh, bless you, darling — bless you — see ! 

I love you — look ! — now you love me. 
And kiss me, little dolly dear — 

Yes, that is as it ought to be I " 

* ^r- ♦ * 

Ah, not in vain that child's embrace ; 
That ardent kiss, that loving look ! — 
A worn old traveller on his crook 

Stood listening at the holy place. 

And with him Bessie's blessing took. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

122 North Country Poets. 

Arthur Hugh Clough. 

I HEBE have been few poets whose lives have been more 
strikingly deficient in the ordinary materials of biography 
than was the life of Arthur Hugh Clough. His record 
is one, not of external event, but of internal experience ; 
and even the history of his mind is entirely devoid of 
dramatic surprises : it is a history, not of convulsion or 
revolution, but of orderly growth and development. We 
know that during his life at Oxford, there occurred an 
important change in many of his convictions, but it seemed to affect the 
accidents rather than the essentials of his being ; and his poems, which 
are a specially faithful reflection of his mind, leave behind them such a 
wonderfully homogeneous impression, that even a trained critic, left 
without the guidance of printed dates, might easily fail to distinguish 
between the work of his youth and of his maturity. Mr. William Watson, 
in one of his exquisitely carved epigrams, writes : 

'Tis human fortune's happiest height, to be 

A spirit melodious, lucid, poised, and whole : 
Second in order of felicity, 
I hold it, to have walk'd with such a soul. 

Clough was such a spirit, and as we walk with him by the way such felicity 
is ours. 

Arthur Hugh Clough was born in Liverpool on the first day of the year 
1819. When he was four years of age, his father migrated to the United 
States, and the early years of his boyhood were spent in Charleston, 
Virginia. In the autumn of 1828, the Cloughs returned to England, and 
Arthur was sent to a school in Chester, whence he proceeded to Rugby in 
the summer of 1829. Here, he came under the marvellous influence of the 
greatest of English schoolmasters ; and in Clough, Dr. Arnold found a 
pupil after his own heart,— a youth largely dowered by nature with that 
intellectua land ethical strenuousness which it was Arnold's chief aim to 
inspire and develop. His school career was a brilliant one. At fifteen, 
he was the head of the fifth form ; he edited for some time the Rugby 
Magazine, to which he contributed his earliest verse ; he took an active part 
in some of the school games, his name appearing in William Arnold's 
*' Rules of Football " as that of the best goal-keeper on record ; 
and when, in October, 1837, he passed on to Oxford, having won the Balliol 
scholarship in the preceding year, he had gained every honour which Rugby 
had to bestow. Oxford was then the centre of the memorable Tractarian 
movement, and a mind so sensitive as Clough's, so full of fine ardours and 
high enthusiasms, could not fail to be affected by the ferment of new 
thought in which he found himself. For some Lttle time his intellectual 
activities were turned into an unfamiliar channel, and the earliest evidence 
that a disturbing clement had come into his life was furnished by his 
failure to take a first-class, and his unsuccessful competition for a 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Arthur Hugh C lough. 


fellowship at Balliol. But, though Clough's mind was sensitive, it was 
stable ; and he was not long in recovering his equilibrium. In the spring 
of 1842, he was elected Fellow of Oriel, and by this time ho had worked his 
way through the storm and stress in which, to use his own words, he had 
been ^ like a straw," and had regained possession of himself. Still, such a 
conflict seldom leaves a man where it found him, and in struggling to make a 
stand against what he felt to be alien influences, Clough's intellectual attitude 
had insensibly changed. An aggressive doubter lie could never have 
been, but he had become an eager questioner ; and the final result of his 
questioning was the resignation, in 1848, of his Oriel Fellowship, and also 
of the tutorship to which he had been subsequently appointed. Then came 
a month in Paris among the sights of the Revolution ; a visit to Liverpool, 
during which he wrote '• The Bothie of Tober-na-Vuolich ; " his appoint- 
ment as Head of University Hall, London ; and a visit to Bome, one result 
of which was his second long poem, " Amours de Voyage," his earliest 
volume of verse, " Ambervalia," having been published during his residence 
at Oxford. In 1852, he resigned his headship and went to America, settling 
at Cambridge^ Massachusetts, where he engaged himself in literary work, 
and where he might have remained permanently, had he not been tempted 
home by the offer of an examinership in the Education Office, which would 
secure him a small, but regular and permanent income, now of some im- 
portance to him, as he was looking forward to an immediate marriage. 
This event took place in 1854, and for the next seven years, during which 
three children were born to him, he lived quietly at home. It was a time 
of happy content, but also of unwearying labour of many kinds, and at last 
the strain began to tell. In 1860, he was compelled to take what was 
believed to be only a temporary leave of absence from his duties. Malvern, 
the Isle of Wight, and the Continent, were successfully visited, and in 
September, 1861, on the Italian Lakes, he caught a chill, which by the time 
of his arrival in Florence, during the following month, had developed into 
a malarial fever. The fever wore itself out, but its victim was worn out 
also. Paralysis, which had been threatening, struck him down, and on the 
13th of November, 1861, Arthur Hugh Clough passed away. His body lies 
in the little Protestant cemetery, just outside the walls of Florence, upon 
which the beautiful Tuscan hills look down. 

Any attempt to anticipate the verdict of posterity upon Clough's con- 
tribution to English poetry would be foolish and futile. To the more 
serious and thoughtful of his contemporaries it must have a peculiar 
interest, for it utters— and utters with singular clearness and adequacy — 
their own aspiratipns, their own doubts, and not less, their own certainties. 
For Clough, though in one sense a poet of doubt, was in a deeper sense a 
poet of faith — faith in the Heart of Goodness at the Heart of the Universe, 
which will make its warmth felt, and its beatings heard by Him who, in 
the darkness, is *'Not disobedient to the heavenly vision." What he 
wrote in his early years he would have written to the last : — 

The Sammum Pulchrum rests in heaven ahove ; 
Do thou, as best thou may'st, thy duty do : 

Among the things allowed thee live and love ; 
Some day thou shalt it view. 

James Ashcroft Noble. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


North Country Poets. 


What we, when face to face we see 
The Father of our souls, shall be, 
John tells us, does not yet appear ; 
Ah 1 did he tell what we are here ? 

A mind for thoughts to pass into, 
A heart for loves to travel through, 
Five senses to detect things near. 
Is this the whole that we are here ? 

Bules baffle instincts — instincts rules ; 
Wise men are bad — and good are fools ; 
Facts evil — wishes vain appear. 
We cannot go, why are we here ? 

may W3 for assurance sake. 
Some arbitrary judgment take. 
And wilfully pronounce it clear, 
For this or that 'tis we are here ? 

Or is it right, and will it do. 
To pace the sad confusion through. 
And say : — It doth not yet appear. 
What we shall be, what we are here. 

Ah yet, when all is thought and said. 
The heart still overrules the head ; 
Still what we hope we must believe, 
And what is given us receive ; 

Must still believe, for still we hope 
That in a world of larger scope, 
What here is faithfully begun 
Will be completed, not undone. 

My child, we still must think, when we 
That ampler life together see, 
Some true result will yet appear 
Of what we are, together, here. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Arthur Hugh C lough. 125 


As ships, becalmed at eve, that lay 
With canvas drooping, side by side, 

Two towers of sail at dawn of day 
Are scarce long leagues apart descrie^ ; 

When fell the night, upsprung the breeze, 
And all the darkling hours they plied. 

Nor dreamt but each the self-same seas 
By each was cleaving, side by side : 

E'en so — but why the tale reveal 

Of those, whom year by year unchanged. 

Brief absence joined anew to feel, 
Astounded, soul from soul estranged ? 

At dead of night their sails were filled, 
And onward each rejoicing steered— 

Ah, neither blame, for neither willed. 
Or wist, what first with dawn appeared. 

To veer, how vain ! On, onward strain, 
Brave barks I In light, in darkness too. 

Through winds and tides one compass guides- 
To that, and your own selves, be true. 

But blithe breeze I And great seas. 
Though ne'er, that earliest parting past, 

On your wide plain they join again. 
Together lead them home at last. 

One port, methought, alike they sought. 
One purpose hold where'er they fare, — 

O bounding breeze ! O rushing seas 1 
At last, at last, unite them there I 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

126 North Country Poets. 


O only Source of all our life and light, 

Whom as our tiruth, our strength, we see and feel. 
But whom the hours of mortal moral strife 

Alone aright reveal ! 

Mine inmost soul, before Thee inly brought, 

Thy presence owns ineffable, divine ; 
Chastised each rebel self-encentred thought, 

My will adoreth Thine. 

With eye down-dropt, if then this earthly mind 
Speechless remain, or speechless e'en depart ; 

Nor seek to see — for what of earthly kind 
Can see Thee as Thou art ? 

If well-assured 'tis but profanely bold 
In thought's abstractest forms to seem to see. 

It dare not dare the dread communion hold 
In ways unworthy Thee, 

not unowned, Thou shalt unnamed forgive, 
In worldly walks the prayerless heart prepare ; 

And if in work its life it seem to live, 
Shalt make that work be prayer. 

Nor times shall lack, when while the work it plies, 
Unsummoned powers the blinding film shall part. 

And scarce by happy tears made dim, the eyes 
In recognition start. 

But, as Thou wiliest, give or e'en forbear 

The beatific supersensual sight. 
So, with Thy blessing blest, that humbler prayer 

Approach Thee morn and night. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Arthur Hugh Clough. 127 


Say not, the struggle nought availeth, 
The labour and the wounds are vain, 

The enemy faints not, nor faileth, 
And as things have been they remain. 

If hopes V7ere dupes, fears may be liars ; 

It may be, in yon smoke concealed, 
Your comrades chase e'en now the fliers. 

And, but for you, possess the field. 

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking. 
Seem here no painful inch to gain. 

Far back, through creeks and inlets making, 
Gomes silent, flooding in, the main. 

And not by eastern windows only. 
When daylight comes, comes in the light ; 

In front, the sun climbs slow, how slowly. 
But westward, look, the land is bright. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

128 North Country Poets, 

James Burnley. 

HE mighty Modern Babylon, which has lured from the 
shire of many acres hundreds of its ablest offspring, 
grievously robbed Yorkshire in 1886, when she gave to 
James Burnley a permanent call, all too-tempting for 
refusal, to take up a position of honour and literary 
trust in the capital of the world of letters. Chiefly, too, 
is the lament here in place, that Yorkshire poesy has lost 

the strains of a sweet and gifted son of song, by 

Mr. Burnley's transferance southwards, for amid the engrossing work of an 
important London editorial appointment, and with much literary labour 
of a solid and serious sort constantly pressing for his attention, he has of 
late been reluctantly compelled to sadly neglect the Muses. Mr. Burnley's 
many admirers hope that ere long he will have ampler opportunities for 
the production of many more of those graceful rhymes and fanciful poetic 
pictures — true and tender, many of them, others strong and deep, some 
again whimsical and subtly fantastic — of the old Yorkshire life, which in 
time past have flowed so freely from his pen. His vigour is at its zenith 
now, and to all seeming many more years of useful and active literary 
productiveness lie before him. His first volume of verse, " Idonia, and 
other Poems," issued from ** the Sign of * The Ship' " in 1869, gave 
promise of a bright and successful future for its author in the sphere of 
song, a promise which has had full fruition, for Mr. Burnley's verses, in 
many of the magazines, and elsewhere, have always evoked the admiration 
of the reader and the commendation of the critic. He is a master-hurler 
of the pointed shaft of righteous satire, a sympathy-compelling interpreter 
of the loftiest sentiment, and an apt and always heart-whole portrayer of 
human passion. These high qualities are plentifully en evidence in Mr. 
Burnley's poetry, and added thereto, one has such ample demonstration 
of the singer's wealth of imagery that one can but regret he sings so 
seldom. Outside his poesy, his participation in journalism, and his purely 
editorial work, Mr. Burnley has firmly founded a reputation in a peculiar 
line of literature. He is facile princeps as a writer on the lighter side of 
trade-history and commercial lore. No man knows more than he of the 
often strange stories of men and their movements which go to make up 
the tale of our nation's wealth ; and on subjects pertaining to these themes 
he is a large contributor to the " Encyclopaedia Britannica," and the 
" Dictionary of National Biography." He wrote a good deal in Cassell's 
*< Great Industries of Great Britain," on Yorkshire and other topics; and 
among his published volumes, in this direction, may be mentioned ** The 
Romance of Invention " (Cassell) ; and " The Romance of Life 
Preservation " (W. H. Allen & Co.). Mr. Burnley is now busied in 
writing for Sampson Low & Co. " A History of Wool and Wool Combing; " 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

James Burnley. 129 

while he is also at work on " The Bomance of Modern Industry " (W. H. 
Allen & Co.). 

Before he settled in London, Mr. Burnley, who is a native of Shipley, 
and was horn in 1842, held an important literary appointment on the staff 
of the Bradford Observer^ and did much worthy penwork in the columns of 
that journal, the Leeds Mercury ^ and other Yorkshire newspapers. His 
" Phases of Bradford Life," reprinted in 1872, from the Bradford Observer, 
was highly praised for its accuracy of description and capital character 
drawing hy some of the most censorious of the reviewers. Others of 
Mr. Burnley's productions, all of which have heen well received, are 
** Looking for the Dawn : a Yorkshire Story ; " ** Fetters ; *' West-Riding 
Sketches ; " and " Two Sides of the Atlantic." He for a long time con- 
ducted the Yorkshireman with conspicuous ability, and wrote much himself 
in poetry and in prose for its pages. His Saunterer's Satchel, an annual, 
drawing its title from Mr. Burnley's familiar Bradford Observer pen-nomen, 
was also a capital local publication. 

At various times Mr. Burnley has written much and acceptably, in 
verse or otherwise, for Once a Week, All ilie Year Round, London Society, 
Belyravia, Temple Bar, and others of the magazines ; and in journals as 
dissimilar as the World, Fan, Globe, Funny Folks, and some of the publica- 
tions emanating from La Belle Sauvage Yard. As a dramatic critic and 
London correspondent for several provincial newspapers of standing, he 
has done much good work ; and Yorkshiremen do not require telling of his 
abilities as a skilful dialect writer. He is a dramatist of no mean power, 
too, and does not by any means rank among the '* great unacted," for his 
play, " The Shadow of the Mill," ran twice with such success through the 
provinces, a year or two ago, that he has been much pressed for the pro- 
duction of otiier dramatic work. 

Mr. Burnley has travelled extensively, and seen much of men and 
manners in Europe and America, as some of his writings abundantly shew. 
A few specimens of his poesy follow this brief allusion to the salient points 
of Mr. Burnley's busy literary life. 

T. Bboadbent Tbowsdale. 


I* this city o' millions to-neet 

I knaw I can nobbut cahnt one, 
An* to t'crahds 'at pass by me i* t'street 

I'm noabdy an* nowt when I've done ; 
An' I hearken to t'murmur o* wheels, 

To voices 'at speyk nut to me, 
For my heart is i' exile, an* feels 

A lengin' owd Yorkshire to see. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

130 North Country Poets, 

I miss the firm grasp o' the hand, 

An' I miss the owd friends' cheery tones ; 
I see bud I don't understand 

These miles upo' miles o' mute stones ! 
An' faces may pass up an' dahn, 

No matter hah sunny they be, 
They all thraw a shadda an' frahn, 

'Cos they show nowt o* Yorkshire to me. 

Here t'heighest an' t'lowest of all 

Bub shoolders i' t'scram'le for gain, 
An' t'gurt^hez ta huddle wi* t'small, 

An' joy hez ta lig beside pain ; 
Thear seems sich a muddle an' maze. 

So mitch yet so little to see. 
So monny queer, left-handed ways. 

So mitch 'at is doleful an' dree. 

If I could but swop mitch 'at's here 

For what I hev nah left behinnt, 
My way'd be more breet an' more cleer 

O' plezzar I'd hev fuller stint ; 
Ay, then some o* t'clahds 'ud disperse, 

No longer i' sorra I'd moan, 
I'd need noan to sob here i' verse, 

I needn't to feel so alone. 

I'd bring here a Yorkshire green field, 

r t'place of an acre o' brick ; 
A miln chimley, tew, they sud beeld. 

To give us some reyt Yorkshire rick ; 
I'd hev some gurt rocks, an' some hills, 

A bit o' brahn moorland as weel, 
Some snug little dells, an' some rills. 

An' then I sud Yorkshire still feel. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

James Burnley. 


Asteead o' this finnikin' tweng. 

These Londoners din i' my ear, 
I'd rayther all t'grammar went wreng, 

Wi' t'tongue of a Yorkshireman near ; 
For Yorkshire is' t'langwidge o' t'heart. 

It's rough, bud it's true i' it's ring, 
A Yorkshireman's whisper's a shahrt, 

A Londoner's shahrt but a ting. 

Yes, Yorkshire I am, an' sal keep, 

r t'spite o' these millions so mixed. 
My lengin's noan likely to sleep, 

I' Yorkshire my heart is firm fixed ; 
Let fortun' dew just what it will. 

Pass by me, or yield its control, 
I' t'upshot ye'll finnd 'at I'm still 

A Yorkshireman body an' soul. 


The castle crag, with ruin crowned, 

O'erlooks the lashing ocean ; 
The rocks below, by sea- weed browned. 

Are bathed in wild commotion ; 
And as the fading sunlight blends 

With summer mists and sadness. 
Along the shore, which dips and bends, 

There gleams a glow of gladness. 

The sands their gold half-circlet spread, 

The pier points seaward finger ; 
O'er Oliver's high inland head 

The cloud of night doth linger ; 
The Spa, with zig-zag paths above. 

That climb from shore to crescent. 
Yields music, laughter, folly, love, 

In combination pleasant. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

132 North Country Poets. 

Here fashion finds a welcome fair 

For all its airs and graces ; 
Here town-bred fops may strut and stare 

Through lines of pretty faces ; 
Here rustic maids and city dames, 

And lord, and duke, and duchess, 
May mingle free for pleasure's aims, 

Defiant of Time's touches. 

Sophia sits with Swinburne's verse, 

And loves its lucid jingle. 
While Edwin, thinking of her purse. 

Pretends his thoughts to mingle ; 
Irene rides her chestnut steed, 

Her squire the fact'ry master. 
And whether love or lucre lead, 

'Tis Fate will gallop faster. 

The ancient beau, with chuckle dry. 

And ghastly cheek and hollow. 
In mask of youth comes here to try 

An art he cannot follow ; 
And aged beauties, propped and primed 

By artificial aidings. 
All out of tune, and all mistimed. 

Throw in the duller shadings. 

Here yeomen bluff, of heavy hand. 

Of manner rough but cheery, 
Impart the flavour of the land. 

And call up visions beery ; 
Here kings of commerce flaunt their cash. 

And bid with it for beauty ; 
Here sin and folly rudely clash, 

The last thing thought of, duty. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

James Burnley. 133 

And music dances in the air, 

With dulcet ebb and flowing, 
And robes sweep by with rustlings rare. 

And rich in colours glowing ; 
And care and want dare not invade 

This summer heav'n of fashion ; 
For wealth the paradise was made — 

For wealth, and joy, and passion. 


When the swallows fled to the sultry south, 

And the leaves pined away and died ; 
When my heart gave words to my quivering mouth 
My tongue could not utter for pride ; 

Twas then, then ! that he wandered away, 
And he never can hear what my heart would say 
Until he comes back with the swallows ! 

Though the snow has gone, the branches are bare. 

Though each day brings a joy for some : 
Yet branches must bud, and look green in the air 
Ere the day of my joy will come ; 
But then, then I though *tis weary to wait. 
And Time seems a laggard, he's never too late. 
But comes when he's due with the swallows ! 

When the Spring peeps in at our cottage door. 

And the common birds try to sing, 
I shall watch for the cloud whose fleecy core 
Will be specked with many a wing ; 
And then, then ! I shall know there is rest, 
For my soul will have done its earthly behest. 
And he will be here with the swallows. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

134 North Country Poets. 

Though both wind and wave rage wild on the sea, 

When they glimpse his ship's steady sail, 
And they see the birds flying round it in glee, 
Their breath will drop to a soothing gale ; 
And then, mother, then ! you need watch me no more, 
i^'or Death's gaunt shadow but waits at the door 
Until he has come with the swallows ! 

Then he'll need no words to tell how I love, 
We shall kiss, and our souls will embracei 
And the angels will come and bear me above 
With the bloom of his lips on my face ; 
And then, O then ! I shall sleep time away 
Till he comes with fresh kiss to wake me and say 
He's ta'en his farewell of the swallows I 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Charles Frederick Forshaw. 


Charles Frederick Forshaw. 




B. Forshaw was born at Bilston, Sonth Staffordshire, 
January, 1863, but has resided in Bradford since his 
childhood. At an age when most young men are com- 
mencing the work of marking out a career, we find him 
established as a senior partner in an extensive and well- 
known firm of dentists, a lecturer of some note, a writer 
of scientific articles and pamphlets, the author of two 
volumes of poetry, and a liberal contributor of verse to 
many of the leading newspapers in the north of England. He obtained 
his diploma of Doctor of Dental Surgery by examination in June, 1885, 
is Fellow of several learned societies, and the Honorary Bepresentative 
of the Society of Science, Letters and Art, of London. He is the 
President of the West Biding Literary Club. Dr. Forshaw is an 
enthusiastic collector of rare books, and his library of Yorkshire poetry, 
embracing the works of Yorkshire authors from Gsedman to the production 
of the latest amateur, and gathered from all conceivable sources, is as 
unique as it is extensive. Amidst all the claims of a busy professional life, 
and numerous lecturing and other engagements. Dr. Forshaw finds time to 
send forth to the world a large number of poems on widely different 
topics ; these circulate over a large area, and thus it is that his name is 
familiar to newspaper and magazine readers all over the north of England. 
His poetry is remarkable for its sweetness and simplicity. It appeals to 
the affections, and its truthfulness and naturalness, combined with a simple 
diction, render it very popular amongst those readers for whom it is mainly 
intended. Dr. Forshaw has an eye for the beautiful, and a facility for 
painting his pictures in homely phraseology which make them true to 
nature. His verses breathe of home and happiness : they speak of affec- 
tion, of sympathy, of love ; they tell us of hope, and they lead to an 
appreciation of all that is good, and beautiful and holy. 

Dr. Forshaw is at present editing a popular monthly publication, 
entitled " Yorkshire Poets, Past and Present," a work which is meeting 
with considerable success, and which will form a welcome addition to " The 
Poets of Yorkshire," commenced by William Cartwright Newsam, and 
completed by John Holland (Sheffield, 1845), " The Poets and Poetry of 
Yorkshire," by William Grainge (Wakefield, 1868), "A Garland of 
Yorkshire Poetry," selected by Abraham Holroyd (Saltaire, 1873), and 
" Modern Yorkshire Poets," by William Andrews, F.B.H.S. (Hull, 1885.) 
Dr. Forshaw has compiled the *' Yorkshire Poets Birthday Book," and 
has ready for publication a third volume of his poetry. 

J. Gaunt. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

136 North Country Poets. 


How sweetly sound the joyous bells, 

With all their freshness ringing ; 
How soul-thrilling their music swells, 

Like angels' voices singing ; 
How gaily do they clang and clash 

With melody and gladness, 
And now with merry peal and dash, 

As tho' in very madness. 

Now, softly, on the cool, crisp air 

Anon the sound comes stealing. 
Dispelling all our gloom and care 

With their harmonious pealing. 
The cadence of those silv*ry chimes. 

So wildly, softly blending, 
Brings to each mind the olden times. 

Sweet recollection sending. 

And as we listen to the sound 

That each one loves so dearly, 
Our throbbing hearts for ever bound. 

Deep-felt, true, strong, sincerely ; 
And when from them we turn away. 

Overflowing with emotion. 
It seems to me a gladsome ray 

Of Heaven's own devotion. 

It seems as though our many pains 

Are gone, past re-appearing, 
When these divine and mellow strains 

Delight and glad our hearing. 
To me, I think these dear old bells 

We love to hear vibrating, 
To each the sweet, sweet story tells 

That Christ our Lord is waiting. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Charles Frederick Forshaw. 137 


Of all the happy, joyous days, oh, childhood's days are best, 
Days when the eve aye brought to us still, calm, refreshing rest. 
Days when our paths ran smoothly, and our way was strewn with 

When all was merry, light, and gay in those Elysian hours. 

'Tis pleasant to recall the time when hearts with mirth ran free. 
When every sight which met our eyes was brimming o'er with glee, 
When nought of this world's vanity had stained our souls with sin, 
When recked we not of misery amongst our kith and kin. 

How beautiful when, in our dreams, we live those days again. 
And, careless of the coming years, we think they hold no pain ; 
We blend our childish voices in shrill re-echoing song, 
As on some pleasant country lane we take our path along. 

The flowers shed their fragrance, oh I far more sweetly then. 
And bnghter seemed each coppice and wood and field and glen ; 
The birds upon the hawthorn tree far merrier seemed to sing, 
For bounteous nature lent her charm and crowned each one a king. 

Oh I childhood's days are far the best that earthly life shall know, 
For they were free from vice and care, from sorrow, shame, and woe. 
Could but those days return to us, how happy we should be — 
How full of tender love and hope, and blitheful harmony 1 


A ruined wall, 'neath sweetly blooming trees, 

A rough hewn log, where one can take his ease, 

And sitting on't, a weary man and old, 

O'er whose shrunk form some eighty years had rolled ; 

The sky all round, clear with an azure light. 

The hedges, gay with blossoms pure and white ; 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

138 North Country Poets. 

The ancient church, with ivy overgrown, 
Its yard, nigh filled with many a cross and stone ; 
The dear old vicar, with his book in hand ; 
Three farmers, talking of the price of land ; 
The little school, where infants learn to sum ; 
The teacher's voice, the children's busy hum ; 
The gay green fields, the many pleasant stiles. 
The landscape, stretching far away for miles, 
The little brook, gay murm'ring on its way, 
A cart, heaped up with richly perfumed hay. 
Above, the trill of the melodious lark, 
Beyond, the sound of watchdog's honest bark, 
The cackle, from the scraping, scratching hens. 
The grunt, proceeding from the brood pigs' pens, 
The quack, quack, quack, from out the dirty pool, 
Where ducks and geese alternately hold rule. 
The cow's soft low, the flowers of many a hue ; 
The scattered houses, only built for two. 
Their roofs of thatch, now overspread with moss, 
And narrow windows, each thick-barred across ; 
The postman with his letters — four a day. 
The stumbling doctor, bent and worn and grey. 
The pump, where housewives meet to talk the news, 
The quaint old chapel, with its high-backed pews. 
And last of all, the tavern, whitewashed o'er. 
With spotless tables, neatly sanded floor. 
The portly landlord and his stately wife. 
How sweet 't must be to lead a village life I 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 

John Rowell Waller. 


John Rowell Waller. 

5|0HN ROWELL WALLER was born in April, 1854, at 
Gragg Head, a remote fastness of the West Durham 
Moors. In the course of time he was apprenticed to a 
joiner at Houghton -le-Spring, where at the age of 
thirteen the poesy-spirit came to him, *' a ragged lad wi* 
tangled hair," and a local paper printed his first rough 
verse. He kept on scribbling from that time forward, 
though not until he was sixteen did he send anything more 
to the press ; since that age, however, scarce a week has passed without pub- 
lication of his work in one form or another. In 1875 he made a connection 
with the Yorkshire Chronicle, working at his trade in the day time at Upsall 
Castle, near Thirsk. The next year found him at Bishop Auckland. In 
1877 he removed to Forcett, and wrote a series of humorous articles for 
Cosmos, and another series of prose sketches of his appeared in the Chronicle, 
and in 1878 his first volume of poems, " Unstrung Links," was issued. 
In 1881 his second volume appeared, *• Wayside Flowers," while he was in 
business as an ironmonger at Houghton-le-Spring. His strong convictions 
and too open speech at this period threw him out of favour with a section of 
the community to an injurious extent, and at the time of that book's publica- 
tion, he was *' upon the road," selling his tools to buy a breakfast. News- 
paper work for the Middlesbro' News, and later on, a situation with an 
engineering firm at Sunderland, were evidences of his energy and commercial 
value. The pen was never laid down ; in 1883 he published his ** Woodland 
and Shingle," a third volume of poems. By this time he had been living at 
Wallsend-on-Tyne, his house the house of call for the literati of the north, 
sometimes his gatherings numbering twelve or fifteen. In a discussion 
upon one of these occasions he was led to adopt a line of thought far 
different from that in which he had before become notorious. In 1886 he 
issued his fourth volume, " Rambles and Musings." He is now with a large 
engineering firm on the Tyne, in an official capacity. 

His versification is excellent. He is the poet-praiser of beautiful 
nature, and the recorder of human reflections, rather than the narrator of 
action and episode. This must limit his fame in the present state of public 
taste, which continuously asks for compositions equalling in intensity and 
diversity every wickedness and folly belonging to human life. A purer 
school, however, is by no means wanting, and Mr. Waller has reason to 
be satisfied with the growing renown of his work. He is a man who has 
made himself what he is by his own exertions, founded on the having of a 
deep, conscientious, perceptive, and ardent nature. 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 


North Country Poets. 


There's a neat little grave in our snug churchyard, 

Concealed 'neath a mantle of snow, 
Close down by the side of the rustic porch, 

Where in summer the daisies grow ; 
In the waning light of an afternoon, 

A Sabbath not long ago, 
We buried her deep in the cold, cold earth. 

In that little grave under the snow. 

Escaping the cares of the after-life. 

The struggles, and sorrows, and tears. 
The rumble and din of contending strife. 

And the buffets of after years ; 
Free from all these in the sheltering earth, 

Till the trumpet of summons shall blow. 
Free from the trials that follow our birth, 

In the little grave under the snow. 

True ! there's a father on earth, whose love 

Its object and centre will miss ; 
But there is a Father who watches above 

To guide her through realms of bliss ; 
The spirit is with its compassionate God, 

And the angelic face is aglow — 
As a heaven-missioned being sits guard o'er the sod. 

O'er that little grave under the snow. 

Ah 1 doubtless she looks from the land of blue, 

And watches her mother in tears. 
And the playmates whose hearts to her own beat true — 

Will she watch through the rolling years ? 
Hovering over the home of the dead. 

In the toiling world below, 
Where the leaves from the churchyard trees are spread 

O'er that little grave under the snow. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

John Rowell Waller, 141 

And the Spring will come with its primrose tints, 

And the Summer with its violets sweet, 
And the Autumn arrayed in her mellowing light. 

Will follow with gold-clad feet ; 
Then Winter again with its ghostly throng 

O'er the sleeper will rudely blow. 
And the robin will twitter his sweet old song, 

Near the little grave under the snow. 

And the father will sit by the lonely hearth, 

And think of his dear dead dove, 
Whose soul from the body is parted and gone 

To sit *mong the angels above ; 
And the children at times as they wander to church, 

A look of mute sorrow will throw 
On that mound of earth near the rustic porch — 

The little grave under the snow. 


A hush of other realms it seemed 

Beigned down the tessellated aisle. 
And through one muUioned window beamed 

A shaft of light, that, like a smile. 
The grey wall kissed, and softly gleamed 
Along the organ-pipes the while ; 
And on the key-board's face it kissed 
The white hand of the organist. 

She sat within the church alone ; 
Her holy face, so calm, so fair. 
As lit by sweet communion, shone, 

Contrasting with her midnight hair, 
Low was her voice and soft its tone. 
For hopes and dreams of Heaven were there : 
The playful sunbeam moved, and kissed 
The fair arm of the organist. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

142 North Country Poets. 

And trembling came each mournful notCi 

As o'er the keys her fingers went ; 
Far down the nave they seemed to float, 

Till sadness seemed with gladness blent, 
And pathos from the fair white throat 
Pealed out, and by the font was spent : 
The sunbeam quivered while it kissed 
The bosom of the organist. 

Deep prayers on mournful notes were flung, 

And swept away on trustful wings, 
And through the chancel's rest they rung 

Sweet pleadings for diviner things. 
And from the shrine of heart and tongue 
Weird up to God the secret springs ; 
And, rising still, the sunbeam kissed 
The pure lips of the organist. 

And yet, with cadence deep and low. 

The mingled prayer and praise went forth ; 
And heaving breast, and face aglow. 

And touch inspired, bespoke their worth. 
While thought and yearning seemed to flow 
Away from scenes and forms of earth ; 

And God's love, through the sunbeam, kissed 
The moist eyes of the organist. 


Oh ! green lanes of Northumberland ; 

What Springs have come, all cowslip-drest. 
To strew their gems on earth's green breast ; 
What diamonds of the early dew. 
In settings of the purest blue. 
Have hung upon sweet violet tips. 
And tried to kiss her luscious lips ; 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

John Rowell Waller. 143 

And e*en the pale anemone 
Her sister violet might not see, 
For, lo I she hung her head close by — 
The moisture brimmed her lovely eye, 
Till Sol shot down an amorous ray, 
And sucked the glittering tear away, 
Oh I green lanes of Northumberland. 

Oh I green lanes of Northumberland, 

What Summer winds have paused to play 
Through white festoons of hawthorn spray, 
And woo'd till all her sweets were given 
In scents that must have come from heaven ; 
But, best to me of all your charms. 
The dog-rose in the woodbine's arms. 
Won ere the west wind's love was sung. 
Her cheek-hued petals freely flung 
Down on the slope where speedwells gleamed 
And odorous clover dozed and dreamed ; 
Prone in the grass the darnel lay 
Too languid to salute the day, 

Oh I green lanes of Northumberland. 

Oh ! brown lanes of Northumberland, 

What Autumn nights have touched the flow'rs. 

And shut them in the sunset hours ; 

Have touched the hedgerows green and fair. 

And hung the hawthorn berries there ; 

The leaves in every shade of brown, 

'Ere rude winds brought them swirling down. 

Had robed the trees in richest dress 

Of chrome and sepia loveliness ; 

November chills came down the breeze. 

And frosted on the weirdly trees ; — 

Lo ! dankling in deep gutters^lay 

The umber flecks of yesterday, 

Oh I brown lanes of Northumberland. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

144 North Country Poets. 

Oh I white lanes of Northumberland, 

What Winter winds have brought the snows 
To drift and fill the long hedgerows ; 
The lonely moon's half-ghostly light 
Gleamed o'er the slopes of spotless white, 
Some nightshade berries, burning red. 
Glared on the soft and flaky bed — 
Half startling with their crimson stain 
Like blood- tracks on the Polar plain. 
Lo ! deeper beauties, teeming still, 
Are born of God's almighty will, 
That all my life's rude lines along 
Have taught me this sweet art of song, 

Oh ! white lanes of Northumberland. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Dora Greenwell. 


Dora Greenwell. 

|0 Thomas and Dorothy Greenwell, of Greenwell Ford, near 
the old Homan station of Lanohester, Durham, was born, 
Dec. 6th, 1821, an only daughter, to whom was given the 
mother's name, affectionately softened into Dora. Her 
home was a commodious ancestral mansion. Her father, 
a man of wealth and position, was active and popular as a 
magistrate, and Deputy Lieutenant of the county, he and 
his little girl numbering the historian Surtees amongst 
their many friends. Nine miles from a town, postal service weekly, it may 
be imagined that Dora had few playmates but her brothers. She, however, 
made a companion of a " brawling brook," the Browny, that leaped and ran 
through the estate, and she was given to wander alone by this, following its 
picturesque course by path, or no path, resting on out-cropping grey rocks, 
learning the secrets of nature, and filling her young mind with poetic images 
before the power of expression came to her. By the time that was hers she 
was a delicate girl, with but a frail hold on life, needing all care and 
tendance. Yet song came to her early. It was not, however, until her 
father's easy-going confiding nature, and a lawsuit, brought ruin on his 
family, that she gave the out-pouring of her genius to the world. Song is 
bom of suffering, and when, in 1818, the family had to surrender the 
luxurious estate their ancestors had held from the days of Henry YIII., 
the wrench at the unexpected parting affected Dora exceedingly. It was a 
blow from which she never wholly recovered, as her correspondence even 
twenty years later could testify. She had grown up from shy and gentle 
childhood to imaginative soul-searching womanhood, in those " pleasant 
places " where she and her family thought they " were as safely planted as the 
trees." Sad was the reverse when only the interest of Mrs. Green welPs 
own fortune remained to them. As Dora expressed it, '' Money troubles 
do away with the pleasant glossy part of life," and her opinion that 
" Making both ends meet is such a miserable idea of perfection, I should 
like them to tie in a handsome bow," was the playful expression of her 
own painful experience. 

On the sale of his house and lands, Mr. Greenwell, his wife, and 
daughter, went to live for a time at Ovingham Bectory, Northumberland, 
with the eldest son William, now Canon Greenwell, of Durham, the noted 
antiquary and geologist. It was during her brief residence here, in 1848, 
that Miss Greenwell sent her first volume of poems to the press. Pickering 
was the publisher. Later we find her with her brother Allan, at Golbourne 
Rectory, in Lancashire ; but in 1854, when she was thirty-two, she settled 
down with her mother in the quiet ecclesiastical precincts known as " The 
Bailey," Durham, where Mrs. Greenwell's early years had been spent. In 
the meantime a change had come over the quaint cathedral city, warming 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

146 North Country Poets, 

it into life. That behind-the-time, narrow-minded, exclasive section of its 
Booiety, which had pitied '< Poor dear Dora" for her poetic gift and the 
publication of her first ** Poems," had bowed to the dictum of those higher 
intelligences who had stamped them as the work of genius ; and her second 
volume had a very different reception. The eighteen years spent by Miss 
Greenwell under the shadow of the old cathedral, must be named as the 
period of highest intellectual development, though pain and exhaustion 
prostrated the frail body. That the mind rises above and is independent 
of physical weakness is an experience by no means peculiar to Dora 
Greenwell, though hers soared to altitudes out of ordinary reach. Yet how 
much she suffered of bitter memory, of absolute pain, and how her religious 
soul fought against surrender, and imbued earthly things with spiritual 
meanings, is evident in all she has written, whether in her learned prose 
or her symbolic poetry. She was too mystical for popularity with the 
multitude, though she struck her harp with a masterly hand, as the few 
poems we have space to quote can but faintly indicate. 

She threw herself heart and soul into various philanthropic movements, 
writing poems, essays, and booklets, too many for enumeration here, as 
moved by the Irish Famine, the sufferings of Gang Children, the Cotton 
Famine, and Vivisection, and she especially interested herself for a Home for 
Imbecile Children. Her friendships were many and lasting, notably with 
the Constable family of Edinburgh, and Professor Knight, with whom she 
had a philosophic correspondence. Her conversation was full of point and 
originality ; learned or piquant as the case might be. 

When *• Carmina Crucis" was published in 1869, Miss GreenwelPs 
newly adopted symbol appeared upon the title-page, a hand grasping a 
cross, accompanied by the motto " Et Teneo, et Teneor,'* and so on all her 
successive works. Of these, '• The Two Friends," and " CoUoquice Crucis," 
a sequel published in 1871, are in prose— the arguments of two imaginary 
friends on Christianity. "The Soul's Legend," from which we extract 
" The Red-breast," appeared in 1873; "Camera Obscura," in 1876, gives 
us " The Blade of Grass." In this small book are also two prose-poems, 
" The Broken Cither," and " My Little Companions," in which whosoever 
runs may read reminiscences of her lost home at Greenwell Ford. Besides 
these appeared from time to time her great prose work " Lacordaire " ; two 
volumes of essays, one bearing the title " Liber Humanitatis ; " " The 
Covenant of Life and Peace ; " " The Patience of Hope " (first published in 
America, with an introduction by Whittier) ; an enlarged edition of her 
Poems, and " The Songs of Salvation." 

On the death of her mother, Miss Greenwell quitted Durham for 
Clifton and her brother Allan, her health completely broken by long 
watching by the invalid. From Clifton she retired to Great College Street, 
Westminster, and after one or two other removes met with an accident and 
died at Clifton, March 29th, 1881, mourned by many besides her proverbial 
" loose fringe " of dependents. 

Isabella Banes. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Dora Greenwell. ■ 147 


** A sword shall go through thine own heart." — Prophecy of Zacharias. 

Oh I little blade of grass, 

A little sword thou art, 
That ia thy haste to pass 

Hast pierced thy mother's heart ! 

Oh ! little blade of grass, 

A little tongue thou art 
Of cleaving flame, — alas ! 

Thou hast cleft thy mother's heart. 

Oh ! little blade, upcurled 

Leaf, sword, or fiery dart. 
To win thy Father's world 

Thou must break thy mother's heart ! 


Weep not for them who weep 
For friend or lover taken hence, for child 
That falls 'mid early flowers and grass asleep, 

Untempted, undefiled. 

Mourn not for them that mourn 
For sin's keen arrow with its rankling smart, 
God's hand will bind again what He hath torn. 

He heals the broken heart. 

But weep for him whose eye 
Sees in the midnight skies a starry dome 
Thick sown with worlds that whirl and hurry by, 

And give the heart no home ; 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

148 North Country Poets. 

Who hears amid the dense 
Loud trampling crash and outcry of this wild 
Thick jungle world of drear magnificence, 

No voice which says, my child ; 

Who marks through earth and space 
A strange dumb pageant pass before a vacant shrine, 
And feels within his inmost soul a place 

Unfiird by the Divine ; 

Weep, weep, for him, above 
That looks for God, and sees unpitying Fate, 
That finds within his heart, in place of love, 

A dull, unsleeping hate. 


" Far, far away, is a land of woe and darkness, spirits of evil and fire. 
Day after day a little bird flies there, bearing in his bill a drop of water to 
quench the flame. So near to the burning stream does he fly that his 
feathers are scorched by it, and hence he is named * Bron-rhuddyn ' (breast- 
burned)." — A Carmarthenshire Legend of the Robin, 

The souls in bliss to souls in woe 

Would fain a message send : 
It is not love, above, below. 

That loves not to the end ; 
This know I, though I little yet 

Love's secret apprehend. 

But how shall love with love prevail 

Its message sweet to take. 
What wing that will not droop and fail, 

What spirit but will quake, 
To bear it through the gloomy vale, 

Across the fie^y lake ? 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Dora Greenwell. 149 

In heaven was silence ! sweet to hear 

The songs that angels sing, 
Yet sweeter then had been the clear 

Quick rustle of a wing. 
On earth was silence 1 to the sun 

The eagle soared ; apart 
The dove, in grief or love for one 

Sate, brooding o'er her heart ; 
Wings, wings ! a heaven and earth of wings. 

Outspread, unstirred, and free ; 
I only heard one little bird 

Make answer then, ** Send me.*' 

A little bird, "^unseen, unheard. 

When summer woods are gay. 
That flits across a darkening path 

And haunts a leafless spray ; 
Its song is broken, sweet, and wild. 

Its eye is bright and clear ; 
It singeth best when to the West 

The sinking sun draws near : 
A bird beloved by man and child. 

And to its Maker dear. 

It trills not with the nightingale, 

It moans not with the dove. 
It hath no fond heart-piercing wail 

Of passion nor of love ; 
It mounts not with the lark on wings 

Of rapture and desire. 
It hath a heart that does not quail, 

A wing that does not tire. 

" I do not fear the valley drear, 

Nor yet beyond the gate 
What lies, though it indeed be vast. 

And dim, and desolate. 

*In spring the red-breast retires to woods and thickets. Dbxih)^stimmeif^ 
it is rarely to be seen. — BewicJc's British Birds, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

150 North Country Poets. 

My breast is scorched with fire, so near 
The burniog wind I fly ; to fear 
Would now for me be late. 

*' For me the little children spread 

Their crumbs upon the snow, 
I stay with them, and I am fed 

When the swallows flit and go ; 
I have eaten of man's daily bread 

Too long to shun his woe ; 
I have met earth's sleety blast, 

I have felt its driving rain : 
The time of fear is overpast 

For one, the mate of pain ; 

" Yea, more ! upon the bitter cross 

I saw One hang, who bore 
Of all Creation's wrong and loss, 

The weight and burden sore ; 
And then from out a brow divine, 

With anguish pierced and torn, 
I strove, with this small beak of mine. 

To wrest a single thorn. 

** Too slender was my little bill ; 

I strove and strove in vain ; 
But then, in guerdon of my will, 

My bosom met a stain, 
Broad, ruddy, deep, that shields from ill. 

And marks it unto pain." 

Oh, little bird I these words of thine 
Methinks are true and wise ! 

For he who looks on man who lives, 
Who looks on God that dies, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Dora Greenwell. 


Baptized within the cloud, the sea, 
Baptized within the fire, like thee, 
May pass along the valley drear, 
And through the gateway dim, nor fear 
For aught beyond that lies.* 

November, 15th, 1870. 

*1 Cor. X 2. 


Two birds within one nest ; 
Two hearts within one breast ; 
Two spirits in one fair 
Firm league of love and prayer. 
Together bound for aye, together blest. 

An ear that waits to catch 
A hand upon the latch ; 
A step that hastens its sweet rest to win : 
A world of care without, 
A world of strife shut out, 
A world of love shut in. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

152 North Country Poets. 

William Weaver Tomlinson. 

T, journalist, and general litterateur; archsBologist, 
nguist, botanist ; an omnivorous reader, a hard student, 
nd an indefatigable worker, Mr. W. W. Tomlinson, not- 
ithstanding the multiplicity and diversity of the interests 
lat have engaged him, has always, with a steady method 
nd purpose, devoted himself to one thing at a time, and 
lus obtained a sound proficiency in many departments. 
[e was born on the 6th October, 1858, at Driffield, in 
Yorkshire ; his early days were spent in the outskirts of Beverley, the 
quaint sleepy old minster-town lying in gardens and trees in the richest 
agricultural district of Holderness. He was educated under Mr. Dyson, 
of Beverley, and on the removal of his family, in 1872, to Newcastle- 
on-Tyne, he was sent for a short time to the Royal Grammar School 
there. At present he serves in the accountant's office of the North 
Eastern Bail way Company, in Newcastle, and resides at Whitley- 
by-the Sea. Who does not conquer before thirty will never conquer — 
I think Schiller said something to this effect. Mr. Tomlinson is now 
in his thirtieth year, and a much abridged catalogue of his various 
achievements would, I think, give sufficient evidence of the fact that he 
need not be abashed by the maxim. His numerous journalistic articles 
have always a distinct literary value and finish, which, combined with the 
wide knowledge and keen practicality he brings to bear, constitute him a 
contributor to the press of no mean importance. At the period of the 
Crofter disturbance he was sent by the Newcastle Chronicle^ one of the most 
influential provincial papers, as special correspondent to Tiree, and his 
report was as copious as it was interesting. Of his archeeological 
attainments and descriptive powers he gave ample evidence in 1887 in his 
•* Guide to Newcastle-on-Tyne," a work both concise and exhaustive. Since 
then he has compiled an elaborate •• Guide to Northumberland," just pub- 
lished by Mr. Walter Scott, and by this his reputation as an historian and 
archsBologist will be firmly established. Amongst the best-remembered lec- 
tures which for some years past Mr. Tomlinson has been in the habit of 
giving in the Hall of the Literary and Philosophical Society in Newcastle, 
are those on " The Poets of Newcastle," *• The Humorous Poets of the 
Nineteenth Century," and *' De Lamartine." Though Mr. Tomlinson has 
printed much verse, the only collection of his poems in book form is 
contained in a small volume entitled " First Fruits," published in 1881. 
It is distinguished by the mastery it exhibits of poetic technique, which is 
one of Mr. Tomlinson's strong points ; he is, in fact, intimately acquainted 
with that most occult of mysteries, the technique of French verse, and he 
has written on this as well as on the history of French poetry. As a 
translator of Clement Marot, of Fran9ois Copp<§e, of Leconte de Lisle, and 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William Weaver Tomlinson. 153 

of other foreign poets, his renderings, close in their adherence to the 
original, have at the same time a charm of their own. I have allowed 
myself but little space for exposition or criticism of Mr. Tomlinson 
as a poet, thinking that the quotation given below may well speak for him in 
this respect ; and that a brief account of the man, as one of the generation 
of men of letters likely to make a considerable mark in the near future, 
would be more valuable. 

Will H. Dibcks. 


In Hexham Abbey Church there is preserved a curious stone seat called 
<* The Fridstol," an interesting relic of pre-Eeformation times, when the 
monks had the privilege of affording sanctuary to those who had shed 
human blood or committed some heinous crime. Four boundary-stones 
marked the Leuga^ or circuit of the sanctuary, which extended for one mile 
round the church. The sites of two are known from the names— Maiden 
Cross on the west, and White Cross Fields on the east. Near Beverley a 
sanctuary -cross is standing in situ in a field by the side of the York Boad. 
The " Monk's Stone," near Tynemouth, is also believed to have marked the 
limit of the leuga round the Priory. Anyone apprehending a fugitive 
within the circuit rendered himself liable to a penalty, varying according 
to the distance from the centre of the sanctuary. If the avenger of blood 
dared to take a fugitive when seated within the Fridstol the offence was 
unredeemable by any fine. There probably hung upon the door of the 
church, as at Durham, a grotesque iron mask by way of knocker, with 
candles kept burning at night-time behind its eyes and mouth, to direct the 
fugitive approaching through the darkness. On being admitted, the man- 
slayer, or malefactor, was obliged to make a full confession of his crime, 
and take an oath to be " true and faithful " to the authorities of the church, 
and to refrain from violating the king's peace in any way. Also, he was to 
be ready to assist in the defence of the town if needs be. When he had 
kissed the book and paid the requisite fees, he was admitted as a griihman 
and domiciliated in the town. 

** Why luik ye sae, my ain true love? 

What ill sight hae ye seen ? " 
" A slayne man, wha has cast on me 

The glamour o' his een. 

** An* gin I flee not far away, 

A deid man I shall be. 
Swift is the sword I — My bonnie bairn, 

What gars ye rin frae me ? 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

154 North Country Poets. 

** Am I a ghaist (as he is ane), 

Wha bodeth thee nae gude ? " 
** O feyther, dinna touch me noo, 

Yer hands are rede wi' blude." 

" Sweet wife o* mine, fare-weel I This day 

May end in dule for thee ; 
The bird that sings the sunset's dirge 

May sing a dirge for me I " 

He kissed her wan lips, and was gone 

Or ere a tear could start ; 
His limbs were light, and strong, but oh 1 

They bore a heavy heart. 

By muir and moss he took his way, 

The dew yet on his feet ; 
The larks were lilting as he sped 

Adown the Clennell Street.* 

From Coquet came an eerie sound — 

A sound of spates + set free — 
The while the water-kelpies sang, 

And laughed with elfin glee. 

Down came the moorland waters, clear 

As amber in the sun ; — 
Not lightly would the dalesmen dare 

The ford of Alwinton. 

No way but one was left to him, 

And that was through the ford ; 
For lo ! behind, the morning sun 

Flashed on a naked sword. 

* Clennell Street— a path through Kidland to Clennell. " Street " 
here is used in its original Anglo-Saxon signification of a " way spread out 
or paved.** 

t Spates— rapid floods that come down a river after a great fall of rain 
among the hills. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William Weaver Tomlinson. 155 

His feet were on the other bank, 

When hark ! a sudden scream I 
And oh ! it was a little child 

Had fallen in the stream. 

He paused a moment, yea, but one, 

To crush a base thought dead. 
Then plunged to where a gleam of gold 

Played round a golden head. 

** Whatever ill betide to me, 

This chance I may not rue. 
Whereby I save, to smile again, 

Those tender eyes of blue." 

He laid her on the sunny bank. 

Among the gowans there ; 
Then fled Spgain before the sword 

That shimmered through the air. 

A shadow from the olden times 

Fell on him as he saw 
The Draag-stone,* that had still the power 

To chill men's hearts with awe. 

Beneath the hold of HarbottMl, 

And through the little town, 
He took his way across the moors 

Where Yardhope hill looks down. 

The curlews, rising warily, 

Wheeled round him as ho ran, 
Then downward swooped ; — too wily they 

To fear a hunted man. 

* Draag-Stone— a huge mass of rock, thirty feet high, perohed on Har- 
bottle Crags. It is believed to have had some connection widh Drnidioal 
worship. A custom which prevailed till the beginning of the century, of 
passing sick children over the Draag-Stone to promote their recovery, 
is no doubt a remnant of the old superstition. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

156 North Country Poets. 

A rude stone cross stood by the way, 

And there, on bended kuee, 
A pilgrim to our Lady's Well* 

Did tell his rosary. 

He halted for a little space, 

And made the holy sign ; 
Then turned to where cold Elsdon lay 

Beneath a tuft of pine. 

And by its mote-hills,! where of old 

The tribes in council met ; 
And by its frowning pele he strode 

Still on, with teeth hard-set. 

Sweet far-off murmurs did the wind 

Bring softly to his ear ; 
But oh ! it brought the sound of feet 

That followed and drew near. 

Oh 1 vain seemed all his effort now 

To flee the vengeful hand : 
The sky spun round his dizzy brain, 

Bright as a whirling brand. 

He might not rest, though every thew 

Was like an iron cord ; 
For lo ! behind, the mid-day sun 

Flashed on a naked sword. 

By Otterburn," where Douglas fell. 

Yet won the glorious fight ; 
By Corsenside and Risingham, 

He took his onward flight. 

• Our Lady's Well— a spring near Holystone, where Paulinus is said to 
have baptised many of his Northumbrian converts. 

f Mote Hills— remarkable diluvial mounds, levelled at the top, and fortified 
with earthen ramparts by the ancient Britons, who are supposed to have 
held their tribal councils here. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William Weaver Tomlinson. 157 

He saw above pale Sweethope Lough 

The Wannys, old and grey, 
Like spell-bound wizards doomed to scan 

Some crystal orb for aye. 

Still on he sped by Gunner ton, 

And on by Swinbum Tower, 
By Bewclay to the mighty wall 

Up-raised by Roman power. 

The dew fell on the drowsy leaf, 

And on the flower a-swoon ; 
It lay upon his weary limbs, 

That blessed the gentle boon. 

Beneath was Gorbridge, like an isle 

Begirt with waves of wheat. 
He travelled on with blood-shot eyes 

And steps no longer fleet. 

*' What ho ! " they cried ; *' a Kidland wight 

More swift of hand than foot 1 
God-speed ! to Hexham town," was heard 

From pele and wattled hut. 

From Dilston's highest tower, that caught 

The last rich light of day, 
The warder blew a merry note 

To cheer him on his way. 

The goal was nearly won — yet Fear 

Still ruled his heart as lord ; 
For lo ! behind, the setting sun 

Flashed on a naked sword. 

He staggered on two miles or more. 

Then, with a sudden moan, 
Sank by the Maiden-cross, beneath 

Its sheltering shaft of stone. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

158 North Country Poets. 

He rose and trailed his weary limbs 

Towards Wilfrid's holy pile, 
To claim the right of sanctuary — 

Its peace within its mile. 

The massy door ! Yet one step more ! 

He breathed the Virgin's name, 
Then seized the grim carved head that hung 

With eyes and mouth of flame. 

The monks drew nigh ; between his lips 
They poured the blood-red wine — 

** O, heaven, the sword ! " — '* Nay, 'tis the light 
Upon the silver shrine." 

They led him to the Stool of Peace 

Within the chancel dim. 
While children through the twilight sang 

The holy vesper-hymn. 

The windows lost their jewel -tints, 
Dim grew each saint and seer ; 

And lo 1 the night stole down and stilled 
The new-made grithman*s fear. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William E. A. Axon. 


William E. A. Axon. 

|0 insignificant number of the Englishmen and women who 
have achieved a deserved literary reputation have drawn 
their first breath in the grimy air of Manchester. 
Among these Mr. Axon is to be numbered, but, unlike 
very many of them, he has not turned his back upon his 
native city for either broader or fairer fields. Such as 
Manchester was and is, he has clung to her with an affec- 
tion intensified by the moral aspects which the struggle 
of humanity presents in such a place. He was born in 1846, and is " self- 
educated in the best sense.'' At fifteen he became assistant librarian at the 
Manchester Free Library, under the late Dr. Crestadoro, a position he 
held until he was twenty -eight, when he made a brief trial of a commercial 
life, and found it little to his taste. Since that short incursion into uncon- 
genial fields, he has devoted himself to literary pursuits and journalism 
with an ardour and intensity of devotion which are not to be measured even 
by the mass of his published work, great as that is. Mr. George Milner, 
on a recent occasion, thus referred to that work, in terms which do not 
overrate either its extent or its versatility :— " What he has done it would 
be impossible for me to say. . . Nothing seems to come amiss to him. 
The most gigantic pyramid of figures, the most abstruse statistical problem, 
never proves too much for his literary digestion, and at the same time he is 
ready to soar on the wing of the lightest fancy. . . In short, he is 
steeped to the lips in literature, and a sworn knight of the pen — sworn till 
death." His researches have lain in many fields— historical, archsBological, 
statistical, and bibliographical. He has contributed to the transactions of 
the Royal Society of Literature, the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian 
Society, the Statistical Societies of Manchester and London, the British 
Association, the Library Association, the Manchester Literary Club, 
Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, Field Naturalists' Society, 
Gryptogamic Society, and many others, as well as to numerous weekly, 
monthly, and annual publications. He is also an active, honorary, or 
corresponding member of several learned societies, both home and foreign. 
A complete bibliography of his published work would occupy several of 
these pages ; and still, it must be remembered, Mr. Axon is a young man. 
Among his more important volumes are the •• Handbook of the Public 
Libraries of Manchester and Salford," " Annals of Manchester," " Cheshire 
Gleanings," "Lancashire Gleanings," and "Stray Chapters in Literature 
and Folk-lore." He is understood to be now engaged upon the preparation of 
a work on the history and folk-tales of the Gypsies. Mr. Axon's poetical 
work does not occupy a very large space in the imposing bulk of his literary 
labours, but what he has done in this direction shows facility in versifica- 
tion, an intuitive feeling for thoroughly good literary work, and a warm 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

i6o North Country Poets. 

s^nnpathy with many-hearted Nature. In his translations, where he shows, 
perhaps, at his best as a poet, he is equally happy in themes grave and gay, 
and in many of his sonnets occur touches of poetic fancy which are both 
graceful and true. His translations cover a wide linguistic range, and em- 
brace the poets of Italy, ancient and modern, France, Germany, Spain, 
Portugal, and China. 

Any sketch of Mr. Axon's life, however brief, would be most incomplete, 
which failed to take note of his great interest in the poorer classes, and his 
ceaseless activity in promoting every worthy plan to brighten the dulness 
of their daily lives. He is, too, an indefatigable, but never offensively 
obtrusive, propagandist for purer and healthier living among all classes. 
He is a teetotaler and vegetarian from confirmed principle, but whatever 
line of conduct he advocates it is always pressed in the broadest and most 
catholic spirit. He loves humanity too much to belittle it by any show of 
ex cathedra omniscience. 

The following selections embrace one of his shorter idylls from the 
Manchester Quarterly, a sonnet which first appeared in the Academy, and 
two brief translations. 

J. OscAB Pabkeb. 


[Perhaps it was difficult for people to understand the extraordinary 
ignorance of town children in such districts as he was referring to 
respecting the commonest natural objects. The other day he was 
inspecting a School in Ancoats, and the boys in the first class were 
repeating some poetry they had learnt about a skylark. He enquired 
whether anyone had ever seen a lark ; there was a silence, but a boy 
presently held out his hand to signify ho wished to speak, and on his 
saying, "Well, where did you see a lark? '* he answered, ** In the public- 
house at the corner of the street, in a cage." He (Mr. Oakeley) thought, 
" Poor caged lark, and poor caged little lad." — Speech of Mr. H. E. Oakelet, 
HM, Senior Inspector of Schools, at the opening of the Manchester School Board 
Central Higher Grade School, July, 1884.] 

The day was hot, the summer sun 
Pierced through the city gloom ; 

It touched the teacher's anxious face, 
It brightened all the room. 

Around him children of the poor, 

111 fed, with clothing scant, 
The flotsam of the social wreck, 

The heirs of work and want. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William E. A. Axon. i6i 

The sunlight glorified their rags. 

As he essayed to tell 
The wonders of the country side, 

Of clough, and bum, and fell. 

For, as he spoke, the schoolroom walls 

Kept fading from his sight. 
He stood upon his native hills ; 

All bathed in golden light. 

Ooce more he heard the skylark sing. 

Sing right at heaven's door, 
And fill the span of earth beneath 

With music from its store. 

A summer cloud sailed o*er the sky, 

The sunlight passed away. 
The teacher saw his puny boys 

With city grime all grey. 

" And which of you has heard a lark. 

Or seen its fluttering wings 
As o'er the hills of Lancashire 

It rises and it sings ? 

Ah, no, the hills are far away 

From Ancoats' toil and stress. 
The skylark, have you heard its song, 

Or seen its homely dress ? " 

A silence fell upon the class, 

On all the listening ring ; 
Then one said, '* Sir, Tve seen a lark. 

And heard him loudly sing." 

** And where, my little Ancoats lad. 

Did you the layrock see ? " 
'' 'Twas in a wooden cage that hung 

Outside the ' Cotton Tree.' " 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

1 62 North Country Poets. 

Alas, poor bird I chained thus amidst 
The city's smoke and gloom, 

No more for thee the sunny sky, 
The wild flower's sweet perfume. 

Alas, poor caged Ancoats boy ! 

That freedom's song ne'er heard 
Trilled o'er the fells of Lancashire 

By this bright poet-bird. 

Alas, the teacher, who of hills 
The dear delight has known, 

And, now amidst the city slums. 
Is bound by walls of stone ! 

And yet the teacher finds it joy 
To help the laddish throng ; 

The boy is blythe and strong of heart, 
The bird ne'er fails in song. 

So may the teacher's magic art, 
The bird's melodious ditty. 

The sunshine of the boyish heart. 
Ne'er fade from out the city. 


(Fbom the Spanish of Manuel M. Fernandez). 

Donosto to the public gave 
Old stories, very badly told, 

Well printed in a portly tome, 
And bound in cloth and gold. 

And those who read his limping lines 

No trouble had in finding 
The only gold about the book. 

For it was on the binding. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William E. A. Axon. 163 


(On receiving " UlmitazUmi ta Cristu mitm Tommaio da Kempii,** Malia, 1886.) 

A solitary monk within his cell, 

Whose walls did make an island of his life. 
Surrounded by the waves of war and strife, 

His hours obedient to the convent bell 

Until the grave had closed upon his corse. 
A life secluded from the haunts of men ; 
A soul that found an utterance, by the pen, 

For hope and sorrow, joy and sad remorse ; 

A soul that longed for purity, that taught 
Man's duty was to beat down pride and sin, 
To conquer passion, keep all white within, 

And shun a world with dark and evil fraught. 
Ages have passed, yet still, amid the strife. 
Is heard the music of that far-off life. 


(From the French of J. B. Bousseau). 

So full of graces is thy wife, 

So void of envy, void of strife. 

That had it pleased the gods to give 

To me three such, with whom to live, 

To Lucifer the two I'd pay, 

That he might fetch the third away. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

164 North Country Poets. 

Thomas Parkinson Dotchson. 

Parkinson Dotchson was the son of Mr. Thomas 

ion, solicitor, Whitby. He was born October 23rd, 

ind died October 20th, 1884. It is said that to be 

)d with a wreath of song, is to be crowned with sad- 

md this applies to the subject of this short notice. 

ras a short life, full of rich promise, but the 

rious "reaper with sickle keen," cut down the 

just as it was bursting into bloom. Like all true 

poets, the green pages of nature were his favourite study ; while the song 

of the birds, the murmuring of the waving grasses, and the sobbing of 

the restless sea, sounded to his listening ear like the undertone of earth's 

passion — ^music. 

Most of his literary productions were in prose, but a few sweet poems 
were left behind, that speak to us in prophetic tones of *' what might have 

A collection of his work has been published in a "Memoriam 
Volume," edited by Robert Tate Gaskin, of Whitby. We give two of his 

^___^^_^^^^ Patty Honetwood. 


The world will speed 
With busy feet 
Upon its way ; 
And down the street 
The sons of toil, 
An anxious throng, 
To daily tasks 
Will move along 
With heavy tread, 
When I am dead. 

The day will dawn — 
The golden sun 
Will rise again 
Its course to run ; 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Thomas Parkinson Dotchson. 


And eyes will wake, 
And lips will say 
In trustful prayer — 
"Give us this day. 
Our daily bread/' 
When I am dead. 

The flowers will bring, 
To bless the earth, 
The gladsome news 
Of spring-time's birth ; 
With happy sounds 
The world will ring, 
While sweetest songs 
The lark will sing 
Above my head, 
When I am dead, 

A softened step, 
A silent tear, 
Wrung from a heart 
That beat sincere ; 
A new-made grave, 
Soon all is o*er, 
And those I loved 
Find many more 
To love instead. 
When I am dead. 


While musing o*er the year gone by, 
I caught a sound of distant chimes, 
That whispered ** There are other times, 

*Tis better for us these should die.'* 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

1 66 North Country Poets. 

But are these days for ever o'er? 

Much I would give them to regain ; 

Toil in the hours that yet remain. 
May locust-eaten years restore. 

" Rise I cast thy mournful dreams away ; 

The Past to thee cannot return ; 

Now let thy soul with ardour burn, 
And let thy task be done to-day. 

Await not some still brighter morn, 
But grasp the moments as they fly ; 
The Past is now laid down to die ; 

The Future never may be bom. 

Let the Past serve to warn and guide ; 
List to its voice — but do not ask 
For its return : Complete the task 

That lies unfinished by thy side. 

Let the bright Future serve to cheer 
The eye and elevate the heart, 
And give thee strength to do thy part 

In that which to thy hand is near. 

*' Now — now, alone — is really thine ; 
Seek not the living, 'mid the dead, 
But work to-day — and o'er thy head 

A blue to-morrow yet shall shine." 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Henry Heavisides. 


Henry Heavisides. 

F all the poets South Durham has produced, there is not 
one more widely known or more truly appreciated than 
Henry Heavisides, the genial " Bard of Home." He was 
born at Darlington, 29th November, 1791, where his 
father, Michael, carried on the business of printer and 
bookseller ; his mother was Miss Mary Marsh, who for two 
years was governess to the children of Bishop Thurlow, 
at Bishop Auckland. She was a woman of culture and 
refinement, being the authoress of productions in both prose and verse, and 
it was from this lady, I surmise, that our author inherited the poetio 
faculty. After attending Darlington Grammar School, he was apprenticed 
to his father, who, through ill-health and various difficulties, nltimately 
declined business. At 20 years of age Henry left Darlington, and set out 
to fight life's battle as best he could. He obtained employment at Stokesley, 
and whilst there married Miss Jane Bradley. Leaving there he got 
work on the Hull Packet^ and subsequently at the office of the Leedt Mercury, 
and at Bradford ; in 1814, however, he finally settled at Stockton-on-Tees, 
where for the long period of 42 years he was foreman to Messrs. Jennett 
and Co. In 1837 was published the first edition of the " Pleasures of 
Home," a poem composed, as he himself says in the prefatory notice, " in 
those leisure hours which every working man can call his own, after he has 
performed the necessary and important labours of the day." It was received 
favourably by the critics, .and Allan Cunningham, in a letter to the bard, 
dated 5th July, 1839, says ♦♦ But few have sung with truer knowledge, or in 
more moving strains, the sweets of the domestic hearth, or of the faces that 
gladden it." 

In 1840, the second edition, considerably enlarged, appeared ; and 
again in 1859 and 1868 were issued third and fourth editions, the latter of 
which was got up in a cheaper form, and contained a brief memoir written 
by his son. 

On March 29th, 1847, he was publicly presented with his portrait in 
oils, subscribed for by his admirers, on the frame of which was the 
following :— •* Presented to Henry Heavisides, author of the * Pleasures of 
Home,' etc., by John Crosby, Esq., Mayor of Stockton, on behalf of the sub- 
scribers, as a small token of their high respect and esteem for his literary 
genius and attainments." 

His prose works embrace " The Minstrelsy of Great Britain," being a 
glance at our lyrical poetry and poets, including a dissertation on the genius 
and lyrics of Burns (1860) ; " Courtship and Matrimony (1864)— second 
edition 1868 ; and the " Annals of Stockton-on-Tees " (1866). In music, Mr. 
Heavisides excelled, and for twenty-five years was bandmaster of the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

1 68 North Country Poets. 

" Btookton Amateur Band," dnring whioh time he gave as many as 
twenty-seven concerts, well patronised by the public. 

As a lecturer he was much appreciated, his favourite themes being 
** Courtship and Matrimony " and " The Genius of Bums " — ^the MS. of 
the latter is in the present writer*s possession. 

Mr. Heavisides was a tall man, rather sparely built, but muscular — 
indeed at one time he prided himself upon his athletic form, being well- 
skilled in the art of natation ; a high brow, full eye, twinkling with sly 
humor, and a firm, yet good humored mouth, were features which struck 
one as belonging to a man of uncommon mould ; he was also noted for his 
wonderful flow of spirits — so much so, that when old age came upon him, 
he was gayer, and more jovial by far, than most men a quarter the age ; 
and though his long life was witness of trials and sorrows innumerable, yet 
with calm and independent mien, he withstood the *' slings and arrows of 
fortune " patiently and manfully. He died 13th August, 1870, in the 79th 
year of his age. 

In his poetry slight blemishes may be found, yet a good deal he has left 
us will bear favourable comparison with the more ambitious attempts of 
Campbell, Gk>ldBmith, or Grabbe, to the latter of whom he has been, not 
without reason, compared. 

Joseph Bxadman. 


O Home ! dear Home ! where all delight to move, 
Sweet couch of Peace and nursery of Love ! 
Dear hallowed birth-place of domestic joy ! 
Fountain of pleasures that can never cloy ! 
O blessed Home I it boots not where thou art, 
Thy charms, like ivy, twine around the heart ; 
Steal on the mind, invest its mystic cell, 
And bind each feeling there, as with a spell ; 
To us endearing all within thy shade. 
Each thing familiar God or man has made. 

Whatever the clime where human dwellings rise, 
'Neath laughing Italy's unclouded skies. 
Bound Andes' heights that 'hove the storm-clouds run, 
Mid Turkey's minarets glittering in the sun, 
On Ganges' banks, on China's wide domains, 
Or Scandinavia's less luxuriant plains. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Henry Heavisides. 169 

Or e'en where Winter rules with aspect keen, 
And dreary Lapland's stunted sons are seen, 
However, humble, and however poor, 
Stiil Home is Home, when comes the trying hour. 
Still Home is Home, to those who know its worth. 
Still Home is Home, the dearest place on earth ! 
There, lovelier landscapes seem to glow around. 
There, brighter flow'rets deck the sparkling ground. 
There, every pleasing beauty seems more sweet. 
And bosom friends in social converse meet ; 
While scenes beloved are in our pathway cast, 
Bousing the soul to dream on days long past, 
As silvery voices on the zephyr swell. 
And wake the echoes of the mountain dell. 

Delightful Home ! though distant we may be, 
Still there's a power that turns our thoughts to thee ; 
Conjures up visions in the restless brain, 
That draw us back to youthful scenes again 7 
To harmless Childhood's pure and dreamy hours. 
To Boyhood busy in fair Learning's bowers, 
To kind companions scattered wide and far. 
And pleasures gone we never more can share. 


Hail ! mighty Power ! that on the lucid page 

Unfolds the thought rich with instruction sage. 

That opes the gates of Knowledge to mankind, 

And drives away the darkness of the mind ; 

Hail, mighty instrument I benignly given 

To guide with Truth's bright torch our way to heaven, 

To thee sweet Poesy her tribute pays, 

Immortalizer of her choicest lays ! 

She marks thy progress, and exults to see 

The bloodless victories achieved by thee ; 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

170 North Country Poets, 

For wheresoe'er thy light resplendent streams, 
Lo I Ignorance retreats before thy beams, 
Pale Superstition trembles with dismay, 
Freedom expands, and Tyranny gives way. 
potent Teacher of the human race ! 
Nurse of fair Wisdom I Sun of wit and grace I 
Industrious Storer of the classic hive I 
" Whose labours will the wrecks of Time survive," 
Long be it thine th' ethereal spark to fan, 
And rouse the latent energies of man ; 
That Art and Science 'neath thy fostering smile 
May thrive progressive in our favoured isle ; 
And meek-eyed Piety, at Faith's pure shrine. 
Revere thy worth, and feel thy power divine. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

yoseph H. Eccles. 


Joseph H. Eccles. 

* ' ' ' - ' l.\.'. • - 
• • • 

qOSEPH H. ECCLES wrote many capital dialect poems, 
and not a few popular English songs. His days were 
spent at business and his nights devoted to literature. 
He was the son of worthy parents in humble circum- 
stances. He was born June 20th, 1824, at Bipponden, 
near Halifax, and was a twin child. His school-days were 
few, and only 2s. 9id. was spent on his education. From 
boyhood he was a diligent student, and by self- 
education made considerable progress in learning. In a letter written to 
the late Abraham Holroyd, he said : " My early days were spent amongst 
the woods and fields, and on the moorlands, and ever since my earliest 
recollections, I have been a great admirer and lover of nature." He re- 
moved to Leeds in 1845, and his busy life closed there on August 7th, 1883, 
at the age of 59 years. He contributed largely to the local papers and 
magazines, and produced several dialect almanacks, which included poetry 
and prose from his pen. His English songs embraced, amongst other 
popular compositions, *' Come where the moonbeams linger," ** Mother, I 
have heard sweet music," *' The angels are waiting for me," " I'd rather be a 
violet," " Down where the blue-bells grow," " Snow-white blossoms." Mr. 
Eccles wrote a large number of dialect poems, and issued seventy-one in a 
volume under the title of " Yorkshire Songs." The book is one of sterling 
merit, and attracted much favourable notice. He had, observed a critic, 
the happy faculty of immortalising the little incidents of everyday life, and 
this was the secret of the success of his poetry. Few had a keener insight 
of men and manners. '* The incidents of cottage life," said a writer in a 
London monthly, "have formed the general theme of Mr. Eccles's verse, 
but many of his lyrics will bear a far wider application. Human nature is 
the same in the castle as the cabin, and much that he has written of the 
peasant will apply to the wealthy. The homely pictures he has drawn 
bear the impress of truth that comes from observation, and the quaint way 
in which they are treated shows the hand of the true and skilful artist." He 
was equally happy in pathetic or humorous productions. Perhaps his greatest 
power was in sketching character. So true are his pieces to nature, that a 
leading reviewer said they deserved the title of poetical photographs. I long 
enjoyed the friendship of Mr. Eccles, and can bear testimony to his 
ability and amiability. 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 

172 North Country Poets. 


A'm deein be inches tha knaws weal enuf, 

But net e'en a fig duz ta care ; 
A'm a get aght road as sooin az I like — 

Ma cumpany I knaw tha can spare. 
Goa fetch me that bottle ov fizzick daan stairs, 

An bring me that noggin ov gin ; 
I really feel ready ta faint inta t'earth — 

Tha knaws what a state I am in. 

I cuddn't quite finish them two mutton chops, 

A'm az weak az wumman can be ; 
I hay all soarts ov pains flyin right thro' ma boans, 

But then tha's noa pity fer me. 
A'l try an get t'doctor to giv me a chainge — 

Sich pain I noa longer can bide ; 
A mun hev sum owd port ta strenthen me up, 

An a drop ov gud brandy beside. 

Ay hed a stiff neck an saand e ma heaad. 

An felt dizzy times aght ov mind ; 
But then its noa use, a kind wurd or thought 

Tha niwer wonce hez e thee mind ; 
Wen I sit daan an groan tha stans like a stoop 

An niwer wonce tries fer ma sake 
Ta walk a bit faster, though du what I will 

Tha knaws 'at A'm all on a ake. 

Pray keep aght that draft — I feel all on a sweat ; 

A'm suar at A'm wastin ta nowt ; 
I sal hev them cowd shivvers az suar az A'm wick — 

Tha can't hav a morsel ov thowt. 
Shut that door, an goa get spooin an t'glass, 

An mix up a drop nice an strong ; 
It's time tha did summat fer't sake ov thee wife 

A'm fear'd tha wean't hev me soa long. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Joseph H. Eccles. 173 

A've waited fer gruel this baar an a bawf , 

Summat strenthnin iz what I require ; 
A'm faintin awaay, yet az trew az I liv, 

Tha's nivver put t'pan onta t'fire. 
I sal fade like a cannel et bottom ov t'stick, 

Fer want ov attention an care ; 
Be quick wi that glass, an bring me sum toast, 

I feel fit ta sink through ma chair. 

It's a queer piece ov bizziness (sed John tuU hizsen ;) 

It's cappin what wimmin can du ; 
Shoe's been cryin aght fer this last twenty years, 

An sayin at shoo woddn't get through ; 
Yet shoo eats an shoo drinks all 'at cums e her waay, 

An lewks weel an strong az can be ; 
Wal hear 'Am hauf pined, 'an get nowt but crusts. 

It's noan her at's deein, it's ME ! 


Keep aght ov debt — it's gud advice, 

A wize an thrifty plan ; 
It's better far ta curb yer wants, 

Ner owe ta ony man. 
'Twill give yo pleashur at yer wark. 

An mak life's pathwaay sweet ; 
An wen yer daaily toil iz dun, 

Yer heeads maay rest at neet. 

Keep aght ov debt—tho poor it purse, 
An fortun seams ta fraan ; 

It's better far ner borrowed meeans 
Yo kannot call yer awn. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

174 North Country Poets. 

Yo then maay lewk at fowk e t'faice, 

An calmly goa yer waay, 
Which yo kannot da wen sunk e debt, 

An hevent meeans ta paay. 

Keep aght ov debt — won penny saav'd 

Iz wurth a hundurd spent ; 
An unta ivvery thinkin mind, 

Can bring moar pure content. 
God's blessins ontut provident 

Like momin dewdrops fall, 
Befreshin iwery noble thowt, 

An givin strenth ta all. 

Keep aght ov debt — 'tis far the best, 

Tho' shut from pleashur*s scenes ; 
'Twill saave yer naame, an keep yer faame, 

Ta liv within yer meeans ; 
An then the cheerin afturthowt 

Will mak yo rich amends. 
An keep yer credit gud beside, 

Afoar boath foes an frends. 

Keep aght ov debt — an alius try 

Ta goa e t'honist track : 
Ther iz noa rest fer them woa toil 

Wi burdens on ther back, 
Whoa dam't go aght e fleet ov daay, 

Ner scarcely oppen t'door, 
Afeard at bayliffs comin in, 

Ta settle sum owd score. 

Keep aght ov debt — it's t'best advice 

At man ta man can giv ; 
An teaches t'true philosophy 

Ov hah foaks owt ta liv. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Joseph H. Eccles, 175 

A loadov debt's & canker- wunxii 

At bids all cumfort flee ; 
Then tak advice— keep aght ov debt, 

An yo maay happy be. 


I have a lock of flaxen hair 

Wrapt in a tiny fold, 
'Tis hoarded with a miser's care, 

'Tis dearer far than gold. 
In other eyes of little worth, 

Yet precious unto mine ; 
For once, dear child, in life and health, 

It was a lock of thine. 

The numbered hours pass slowly by, 

Days, weeks, and months depart. 
And still the vacant place remains 

Unchanged within the heart. 
The loneliness is still the same, 

The same great want is there ; 
While memory loves to brood upon 

The simple lock of hair. 

The cold wind seems to sigh more loud. 

When shades of evening fall ; 
The clock, with more impressive sound 

Ticks louder on the wall ; 
For now no artless words I hear, 

No smiling face I see. 
No tone of childish mirth breaks forth. 

So dear to home and me. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

176 North Country Poets. 

'Tis past, 'tis gonei like some strange dream 

That lingers with the mind ; 
Some pleasant scene of happiness 

The heart hath left behind ; 
An atom from the fading dust, 

A relic of the past, 
That tells of transient hopes and joys, 

Of things that could not last. 

*Tis all that now remains of thee, 

Light of our home and hearth ; 
While sadly pass the silent hours, 

And dark the days come forth : 
Yet still I keep it for thy sake. 

And guard it with fond care. 
And oft I view, with throbbing heart. 

Thy simple lock of hair. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

H. T. Mackenzie Bell. 


H. T. Mackenzie Bell. 

pHOUGH Mr. Bell claims only a modest niche in the Temple 
of Poesy, his place is his own. His verse is pre-eminently 
marked by simplicity, independence, and sincerity. His 
themes are chosen from everyday life, and his treatment 
is correspondingly natural and pleasing. A new and re- 
arranged edition of his poems issued some years ago by 
Mr. T. Fisher Unwin, of London, has had the effect of 
recommending him to a wider circle, the more that 
the higher critical journals spoke of it in the most favourable terms, and 
this may be said to have given Mr. Bell his introduction to the Academy 
and other literary journals, in which his later contributions both in prose 
and verse have appeared. 

Henry Thomas Mackenzie Bell was born in Liverpool, on the 2nd of 
March, 1856 ; his father, originally engaged in the Biver Plate trade, and a 
long resident in Buenos Ayres, being then a merchant in Liverpool. His 
mother is the sister of Thomas Mackenzie, once Solicitor General for Scot- 
land, and subsequently the author of the celebrated " Studies in Boman 

In infancy, Mr. Bell unfortunately suffered an attack of paralysis, 
affecting the right side, chiefly the right hand, and necessitating, in after 
years, the use of the left hand in writing. Owing to this fact, his educa- 
tion was almost entirely carried on at home ; and with a view to the 
improvement of his health he stayed at Malvern for about a year when 
nine years old, and derived many pleasant impressions from the beauty of 
its surroundings. His physical condition also happily improving, it was 
proposed he should be sent in the autumn of 1874 to the University of 
Edinburgh, the intention being to take his M.A. degree, and subsequently 
to enter Trinity Hall, Cambridge, preparatory to his entrance on the legal 
profession in London. Unfortunately, the strain of study for the examina- 
tion proved too much for his health, and he was therefore compelled to go 
abroad. He spent much time at Pau, and visited other parts of the 
Pyrenees, subsequently journeying through Spain, where he visited San 
Sebastian, Burgos, Madrid, and Cadiz. Of all places, Spain appears to 
have influenced most strongly his mind, if we may correctly judge from his 
writings. From Lisbon he went to Madeira, where he spent the winter, 
and proceeded in the spring to Teneriffe. Betuming by steamer, he 
touched at Mogador, Safi, Mazagan, Tangiers, and Gibraltar, and visited 
Seville, Cordova, Granada, Malaga, Valencia, and Barcelona on the home- 
ward route, as well as Toulouse, Bordeaux, and Paris. In 1880 he visited 
Switzerland and the Italian lakes, and spent considerable time in the chief 
cities of Italy, Bome having especially an interest for him. His homeward 
journey was made through Syracuse and Messina, via Straits of 
Messina and Calabria to Salerno, visiting Pisa, Leghorn, and Genoa, and 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

178 North Country Poets. 

returning invigorated both in mind and body. Oar jastification for this 
detail of Mr. Bell's travels is that he has made poetical record of his 
impressions in a section of his work entitled •' Verses of Travel." 

In 1884 Mr. Bell made Ealing his place of residence, and devoted him- 
self professionally to literature, which had engaged him for some years. 
** The Keeping of the Vow, and other Verses," consisting of songs, 
and historical and miscellaneous pieces, was published in 1879, and in 1882 
appeared his "Verses of Varied Life," containing his longest poem, ** Edgar 
Vanning," a tale in verse. " Old Year Leaves " was published in 1883, and 
contains the contents of his two former volumes with the addition of some 
new poems. These were all well received by the critics, and a short piece 
entitled '* Waiting for the Dentist " is regarded justly as a very successful 
specimen of light humour, and the inspiration that favoured it must be 
regarded as a very happy one. 

Mr. Bell's latest and perhaps most important production is his literary 
monograph, *' A Forgotten Genius : Charles Whitehead," which is a careful 
piece of work, showing considerable research and much sound critical 
faculty. Mr. Bell, we believe, will not be disappointed in his belief that he 
has accomplished the rescue of Whitehead from quite undeserved oblivion, 
the object for which the volume was written. Mr. Bell has not recently 
been publishing so much, though continually engaged in literary studies, 
many of which will shortly appear in a volume issued by Messrs. Ghatto 
and Windus ; but some of his latest published work, as has been said, has 
appeared in the Academy ^ and has met with a favorable reception. 

Mr. Bell's energy and perseverance, his sincere enthusiasm for the 
Uterary art, in face of the severe difficulties with which he has had to con- 
tend, no less than his naturalness and efficiency as a poetic exponent, will, 
we are sure, commend him to the interest and attention of our readers. 

Maubice M. Japp. 


January 8th, 1761. 

The bold crew of the Unicorn discern at dawn of light 
Their longing is fulfilled at length— they see the foe in sight. 
Full swiftly now the order comes with speed to give them chase, 
Their captain knows the French are lost if they can gain the race. 
Hurrah I the dastard's flight is vain, the vessels drawing nigh. 
Each man with eager hope prepares to vanquish, or to die ; 
And soon the cannons' ruthless roar is rolling all around — 
For two fierce hours, with fiendish hate, is heard its hellish sound. 
Strange scene of wild, delirious joy, yet desolating woe. 
For now a shot the captain strikes, and he is borne below. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

H. T. Mackenzie Bell. 179 

Two seamen bear him softly down, and bleeding sore he lies, 
While carefully to bind his wound the skilful surgeon tries. 
The strife ne'er stays — the bearers bring another blood-stained 

** Surgeon," at once the captain speaks, " go, save him if you can, 
My wound is mortal ; thus, for me your efforts kind are vain ; 
Not so with him ; then use your power to mitigate his pain. 
Nay, murmur not, but meekly now obey my last behest ; 
God soon shall soothe my sufferings where * the weary are at 

rest.' " 
Alas I how soon the span of life which to him still remained 
Stole swift away ; yet ah ! 'twas well he consciousness retained, 
For in a while his heart grew glad — his men had won the day — 
His grandest earthly guerdon — ere his spirit sped away. 
Hero ! as filled with thoughtful love as thou wert true and brave, 
Receive in heaven thy rich reward from Him who died to save. 


** Quietude, O quietude," 

My soul is sadly sighing ; 

For thee, in a mournful mood, 

I ceaselessly am crying ; 

But a voice murmurs softly clear, 

** Tnie quietude is never here.'* 

Quietude, O quietude. 
Come while Life's waves I'm breasting, 
Bringing with thee all things good. 
Pure peace, and joy, and resting, — 
Yet still the voice, *' No, never here. 
Can perfect quietude appear." 

Quietude, O quietude. 

Grant me a single token 

That sometimes Life's conflict rude 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

i8o North Country Poets. 

By perfect peace is broken ; 
A voice still whispers in my ear, 
" True quietude is never here." 

Quietude, O quietude, 

Mine earthly course is ending. 

Come, and now within me brood. 

Each sin-stained fetter rending ; 

Breathes then the voice with silver sound, 

*' In Heaven true quietude is found." 


Many-hued the sky this morn. 
Beautiful the day is born, 
Fleecy clouds on every side 
Sunshine's coming seem to hide, 
But the other cloudlets stand, 
Beady waiting its command. 

Ay, they are a gorgeous group, 
Almost each tint in the troop. 
Bed, and light blue, and maroon, 
And some white appearing soon ; 
And a glorious purple shade 
Over all is softly laid. 

O'er the mountains purple clouds 
Of deep colour hang, like shrouds ; 
Purple masses faint are shed 
0*er the ocean's wave-strewn bed ; 
Eine the light which now one sees 
On the palms and tropic trees. 

* The Lest^ is a south-east wind felt in Madeira, and frequently 
prevalent for several days. At the beginning or close of a Lest^ the 
sunrises and sunsets are superb. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

H. T. Mackenzie Bell. i8i 

Swiftly fades the splendid sky 
To a dimly purple dye ; 
Gently stirs the landward breeze 
Shapely-formed banana trees ; 
Dawn's first freshness wears away, 
And begins the balmy day. 


The leaves which in the autumn of the year 
Fall auburn-tinted, leaving reft and bare 
Their parent trees, in many a sheltered lair 

Where Winter waits and watches, cold, austere, 

Will lie in drifts ; and when the snowdrops cheer 
The woodland shadows, still the leaves are there, 
Though through the glades the balmy southern air 

And birds and boughs proclaim that Spring is here. 

So lost hopes, severed by the stress of life, 
Lie all unburied yet before our eyes, 

Though none but we regard their mute decay ; 
And ever amid this stir and moil and strife 
Fresh aims and growing purposes arise 
Above the faded hopes of yesterday. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

1 82 North Country Poets. 

John Macleay Peacock. 

Macleay Peacock was born at Kincardine in Perth- 
re, on the 2l8t of March, 1817. the seventh of 
it children. His father died when the boy was quite 
mg, leaving the mother with scanty means of providing 
a growing family. John was sent to work early, at 
t in a tobacco factory, where his wages were Is. 2d. 
week, afterwards at some bleaching works, and 
imately as an apprentice boiler-maker. From time to 
time he took a turn at theatricals, for which he had a decided taste and 
some talent. At one period he associated himself with a company of 
strolling players, with whom, if he did not take any special rank, he was 
sufficiently successful. His chief education was derived from his travels. 
He had a roving disposition, inherited, possibly, from his father, who was 
a sailor ; and at one time or another he visited many parts of the world. 
Spain, where he resided twice, impressed him greatly, fend he wrote a 
lengthy poem entitled " Musings in Spain,*' which, however, has never yet 
been printed. Wherever he went he found friends, for he was open-hearted 
as a child. He lived with a perfect confidence in others, receiving as a 
necessary return their entire trust. Among the peasantry of Scotland, 
Ireland and Spain, with whom, in his wanderings, he was much thrown, 
he was received with all kindness and confidence, as a child would have 
been received. I do not think anyone could have really known him without 
loving him. I do not pretend he was faultless ; but he was so true and his 
very faults seemed to arise so much from his innocence that they are readily 

In Chartist times, Peacock was an energetic Chartist. Always he 
evinced a keen interest in progressive movements, political and religious. 
In writing verses he obeyed, as he himself says, *• a monitor within, an 
inward longing to breathe my thoughts and feelings to the world." His 
poems are absolutely sincere expressions of himself, and anyone who knew 
the man can recal him in his varying moods, while reading them. Many 
of them relate to freedom, justice, and that bright time to come of which 
good men who love mankind dream. Most of them have an undercurrent 
of sadness, such as existed in his own life. His poems are his biography, 
and therefore they appeal with power to the souls of others, and the more 
they are studied the worthier do they appear. Peacock spoke from the 
heart rather than from the intellect, and a heart like his, with its kinship 
to nature, to beauty, and to human needs and hopes, could not but express 
itself in poetry. 

Physically, Peacock was never robust, and the arduous nature of his 
trade (boiler-making) made him prematurely infirm. In Liverpool and 
Birkenhead, where most of the best years of his life were spent, and where 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

John Macleay Peacock, 183 

his chief work was done, he was well known and highly respected. On the 
23rd of April, 1864, he was chosen to plant the oak-tree in Birkenhead Park to 
commemorate the Shakespeare Tercentenary. He died in Glasgow, after a 
week's illness, of heart disease, to which he had long heen sahject, on the 4th 
of May, 1877. 

In 1864, a volume of Peacock's poems, entitled *' Poems and Songs," 
was published. This was followed, three years later, by a revised and 
enlarged edition called •' Hours of Reverie, or Happy Reminiscences." 
After his death, I prepared a selection of what I considered his best poems. 
This appeared in 1880. From my introductory notice to that volume I 
have drawn some of the foregoing narrative, and that little work (now 
published by W. & J. Arnold, of Liverpool) is the only volume of Peacock's 
poems that is still jn print. 

Walter Lewin. 


Doleful, and dreary, and sad, 

Was the song that the night wind sung, 
Oh ! pity the poor in the cold, ill-clad. 

The famishing old and young. 
Woe, woe, woe I 

Was the wail of each mournful blast. 
When the flickering glow of a lamp fell low 

On the face of a poor outcast. 
And the wind in its murmuring seemed to say- 
Die where you will, be it out of the way. 

Homeless and friendless, in want. 

Like a skeleton clad in rags, 
A starving brother, death-stricken and gaunt. 

Lay stretched on the stony flags. 
Oh— oh— oh I 

Were groans from his heart that came. 
So solemn and low and so full of woe, 

A voice in the crowd cried— Shame ! 
Oh shame — said the wind — as it murmured by, 
That one that is human for want should die. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

184 North Country Poets. 

Pampered, and pompous, and fat, 

Like the lords of some golden land — 
The great ones of wealth at a banquet sat. 

In the hall of a palace grand. 
Gold, gold, gold. 

And glitter was everywhere. 
And wine, I am told, a century old, 

Was quaffed with their sumptuous fare. 
And the wind and cold of that winter night 
Game not to the feast in the golden light 

Hungry, and weary, and worn. 

Adversity's abject brood, 
All shrivelled and pale, with a look forlorn, 

At the gate of a workhouse stood. 
Bread, bread, bread ! 

Was their pitiful prayer and cry ; 
Far rather a bed with the buried dead. 

Than thus to be left to die — 
Die — said the wind, as it murmured on — 
The hearts you would move are as hard as stone. 

Sweatem and Swindle and Go., 

With consciences schooled in guile, 
Sat housed o*er a bubble they meant to blow, 

And lived in a princely style. 
Sham, sham, sham, 

Is a game which our gods pursue. 
As well might they palm on the world a flam. 

As priests and patricians do. 
But the wind was whispering without the door. 
Your bubbles and juggles make millions poor. 

Wretched and reckless of life, 

Like a Babel of maniacs wild. 
At the poison-founts of the drink-fiend rife, 

Were gathered the vice defiled. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

John Made ay Peacock. 


Drink, drink, drink, 

To stifle the heart and brain, 
Of life but to think, is only to link 

Life's moments to mental pain. 
Drink on, said the wind, there is joy in drink, 
To the poor who are left on life's sea to sink. 

Flitting like shadows about, 

On watch for their nightly prey. 
Were lepers, in crime, from the world cast out. 

And the fair, unfortunate gay. 
Lost, lost, lost. 

Proscribed with a searing brand, 
And helplessly tossed on a dang'rous coast. 

The wrecks of a Christian land ; 
Yet voices were heard on the wind to prate, 
And vaunt of the glories of Church and State. 

Princes, and prelates, and peers. 

That night were at sport and play. 
Oh what for humanity's wants and tears. 

Or what for the poor care they ? 
Beign, rule, ride, 

With the rancour of craft and cant. 
And force on their side to support their pride. 

No matter who dies for want. 
And the wild wind wails with a wintry breath, 
In the sinks and slums of the starved to death. 


When I was but a bairn, I heard 
My guid auld grannie say. 

That a' the warld was growin' gyte, 
An* dafter every day. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

1 86 North Country Poets. 

An* faith, guid frien*, am thinkin* on't, 
There's something wrang wi' man, 

It's nought but war whaure'er we look, 
Frae Poland to Japan. 

A' love looks like to flee the warld, 

It*s folly noo tae feel ; 
He*s king o' a' his kind wha can 

Best cheat the muckle deil. 
Yet aye I dream o' better days, 

For truth is no yet lost, 
Tho' in the strife an* storms o' life. 

It's sairly tried an* toss'd. 

Unto the law o' kindness yet, 

The warld's wild heart will bend. 
The force o' love has greatness in't 

Men little comprehend. 
We want a Rarey in the warld 

Wi' some prodigious plan, 
Wha'd pore his brains ower human bumps 

To tame the creature man. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Gershom Collingwood. 


W. Gershom Collingwood. 

?N anthology embracing many of the choicest writings of 
North Country Poets would necessarily be incomplete 
without selections from the works of W. Gershom Colling- 
wood. This gentleman, who now lives at Gillhead, 
Windermere, was born at Liverpool in 1854, and received 
his early education at the College in that city. He after- 
wards studied at University College, Oxford, where he 
took his M.A. degree, and at the Slade School, London. 
Poetry and painting have in him a gifted exponent, and in more 
serious work Mr. Collingwood has also sought the applause of the world. 
His '* Book of Verses" published by George Allen in 1885, is not a work 
that is commonly to be seen ; yet it contains many little poems which are 
delightful in their sweet simplicity and ingenuousness, and also stanzas of 
reverent seriousness and hopeful trust. The book, I am afraid, loses by 
quotation ; personally, I should like to give more numerous extracts in order 
to illustrate the many-sided character of the author ; but the few examples 
which 1 do give will doubtless shew intelligent readers that there are strong 
grounds for the belief to which I here give expression, viz ; that when 
his powers have arrived at a fuller maturity we may look for other 
creations which will entitle him to a high place among the poets of the 
nineteenth century. 

As matters now stand, Mr. Collingwood has a right to expect more than 
a transitory admiration. He is a trustworthy authority on geology and 
kindred subjects, and his singularly impressive lectures on Art, etc., have 
earned for him at Liverpool, the Lake District, and elsewhere, a deservedly 
high reputation. As a lecturer he takes a place in the front rank : he is 
clear, concise, agreeable, and invariably interesting. 

Mr. Collingwood enjoys the friendship and confidence of one of the 
greatest writers of modern times. Mr. Kuskin had the good fortune to 
secure his assistance and companionship during the progress of mutual 
literary works ; and the esteem in which the art critic holds him is friendlily 
and characteristically shewn in a delightful preface which Mr. Buskin has 
written to " The Limestone Alps of Savoy " (forming the first supplement to 
the "Deucalion"), which was published by Allen in 1884, and which appears 
to be Mr. CoUingwood's principal literary work. In these graceful fore- 
words we find many echoes of a beautiful and idyllic friendship ; charming 
reminiscences of a thoughtful companionship in Italy, Switzerland, and 
France, and, in the book itself, a becoming, though by no means servile, 
reverence for the tenets of an admiring teacher. That this pleasant 
association has produced rich results may be seen at once by an examina- 
tion of the work. It is full of pellucid thought, which, although reflecting Mr. 
Buskin in its deeper depths, has many brilliant facets which sparkle with 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

i88 North Country Poets, 

strong originality. The influence of the master is apparent, but it is an 
influence altogether helpful and healthful. From unity of purpose, and a 
charming admixture of the ideal and practical, this work has been evolved, 
and it is of great value. 

Another important book from the pen of this writer is " The Philosophy 
of Ornament " published by Allen in 1883, a series of eight lectures on 
the History of Decorative Art, given at the University College, Liverpool, 
It is a clear and concise record of the dawn of Art, following the artistic 
impulses of succeeding generations from the PalaBolithic age until the 
present day. 

Then we have " Astrology in the Apocalypse : an essay on Chaldssan 
Science," — same publisher— which is a fine, scholarly compilation of 
extreme interest. 

Mr. CoUingwood's pictures are for the most part in the hands of friends, 
but it is no secret that he has remarkable facility in conception and 
execution. The mediaeval influence is strongly apparent in many of his 
imaginative paintings, and much of his work is tinctured with the golden 
glamour of old romance. The writer understands that collections of this 
artist's work are frequently on view in Kendal and elsewhere in Lakeland. 

As a poet his song is sweet and sustained ; as an artist he is refined 
and imaginative, and as a lecturer he is brilliant and deep. The small 
collection of poems which he has published make us long for more, so that 
it is to be hoped that he will relax his somewhat stern and self-imposed 
rule of never contributing to magazines or periodical literature, and let the 
world know more of the generous-hearted poet-artist who lives on the 
hallowed shores of Lake Windermere. 

John Walker. 


There came two fairies tripping along, 

On a Candlemas-day in the morn, O I 
And one of them dibbled the daisy-roots. 

And one of them hoed the corn, O ! 
** Eh, sister Comely, folk will sing 

To spy your bonny crop in spring !" 
** Ay, Homely, and how their shouts will ring 

When your harvest home is borne, I *' 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

W. Gershom Collingwood. 189 

There came two loobies lounging along, 

With Brummagem cane in fist, O I 
And each of them smoothed his shoddy coat, 

And hitched the cuff on his wrist, O ! 
And it's, " Come with us, you country girls. 

We'll deck you fine in silk and pearls I " 
But Comely laughed, and shook her curls. 

And Homely wouldn't be kissed, ! 

** What little fools, upon my soul I 

Don't look so shy and askance, 1 
My name's Lord Cotton I " ** And I'm Lord Coal ! 

And it's rarely you'll get such a chance, O 1 
We'll make you a palace, with chimneys for towers. 

And parks with black diamonds in them for flowers, 
And the people shall slave, ard the profit be ours, 

And we'll be jolly and dance, ! " 

The lasses they stood and stared and smirked. 

They didn't know what to say, I 
** Well, don't if you won't ; there are those that will !" 

But the lasses no more said nay, I 
But by May the daisies all were dead ; 

And at Christmas where was the children's bread ? 
** It was wedding in haste," they sighed and said, 

By another Candlemas-day, I 



IF I were where my heart is, 

Lying among the Lent-lilies !. 

The planes are budding in our square, 

And crocuses were blazing there 

A-row inside the rusty gate 

A week ago ; andjyesterday. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

I go North Country Poets. 

As afternoon was growing late, 

Two ragged children passed this way 

With handfuls of gold Lent-lilies. 

But I remember where there is 

A whole field full ! so thick, you see 

Scarcely a green blade of the stalks, 

Except the edges of the walks 

Which cows tread down continually 

At milking time ; and you can creep 

Into a gold grave, soft and deep ; 

And hardly see the sky o'erhead 

The dark gold leaves with sunshine through, 

Clear gold against the sunlit blue ; 

And hear the becks that, mountain-fed, 

Run by ; and hear the plash they make 

When their brown water meets the lake. 

With quiet in its swirl and flow — 

And I was there, a year ago 1 


Fie, foolish dreams ! but let me look 
Among the pages of my book 
If spells there be to quench this worst 
Of world-desires, this Nature- thirst. 
Maybe there's virtue in the shape 
Of Greek words printed anciently, 
Of verses running into cape 
And bay upon a rippling sea 
Of margin ribbed and growing wan, 
With twice a hundred years bygone. 
See liere, to render this romaunt* — 
•* Two lived together ; one was he 
Whom outland folk had named * I'amaunt,' 
And one again was called ' Tamy.' 
Each had the other in great love, 
For they of yore were fashioned of 
♦ The ^Kirtis of Theocritus. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

W. Gershom Collingwood, 191 

Pure gold ; and one knew verily 

That his love's heart toward him was good ; 

But this was many a year gone by. 

if I knew that my love could 
Find such reward, that every age 

Might hear its fame I " So ends the page — 
But I would be where my heart is, 
Lying among the Lent lilies 1 


Let me go down and see my friend, 
And bring this folly to an end ; 
This night-longing and day-desire, 
That sets my weary thought a-fire. 
With her I'd while away the hours, 
Watching her brown eyes and eyebrows ; 
For there is quiet in the house, 
And music there, and many flowers. 
And in the sky there is sunshine, 
And breaths of air serene and fine 
Even in this London's smoky prison. 
I'm like an invalid new risen 
From month-long sickness, who can walk 
Delicately, and laugh, and talk 
Of travel when his body's pain 
Shall cease, and he be strong again. 
— But you who know the mysteries 
Of human will, resolve me why 

1 find content in none of these. 
But in the Lent-lilies would lie ; 
To see the gold against the blue, 
And hear beck- water rippling through. 
Oh if I were where my heart is. 
Lying among the Lent-lilies 1 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

192 North Country Poets. 


'* IF I might do some great deed, and die ! '' 
She said, — and hid her face among the grass ; 
And, lying there, felt the warm breeze pass 

Close overhead, and through the pines hard by, — 
'* Some work that may not perish utterly 
With all the trifles of the tedious mass 
Whose naught sums up this death-in-life. Alas ! 

To do this one great living deed, and die !" 

But in the wind a whisper seemed to say, 
— God's voice, if e'er He spake ; none else was nigh, — 
And from the grass it answered to her sigh, 
** What were a great work worth, if thou delay 

Each little task I set thee day by day, 
To link the chain that spans eternity ? " 


Love is a baron with counties seven. 

And his suzerain is the Lord of Heaven. 
(Tira-la-la through the budding corn I) 

Love is my lord, and his liege am I, 

Owing him faith and fealty. 

(And I ride abroad in the rosy morn. 
Through wet green grass of the meadows.) 

I knelt at his throne ; I swore to his oath ; 

And my ears ring yet with the plighted troth. 
(Tira-la-la through the bladed cornl) 

I folded my hands between his hands. 

That burnt to my heart like fiery brands. 
(And I ride along in the golden morn. 
In the poplar's purple shadows.) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

W. Ger shorn Collingwood. 193 

I kissed his foot and he kissed my brow, 
And I feel the print of his kisses now. 

(Tira-la-la through the waving corn !) 
Now am I his faithful errant-knight, 
Bound on his quest at noon or night. 

(Riding away on the dewy morn, 

Through rainbow-glitter of meadows.) 

My lord hath a maid with sunlit hair, 

And eyes Hke a grove when the sun shines there. 

(Tira-la-la through lilies and corn !) 
He led me to her and let me speak, 
And kiss her eyes and her lips and cheek. 

(And I ride alone in the sunny morn, 

In the quivering beechen shadows.) 

How am I wrong in adoring her, 
So pretty she is, and dear and fair ? 

(Tira-la-la on my bugle-horn !) 
And what other song can I sing to-day ? 
With her scarf in my helm for the great tourney. 

Riding out in the sultry morn 

By folds and fields and meadows. 


There's a tree that the fruit-trees scorn. 
And plants that are scarce its peers ; 
For its very leaf is a thorn. 
And the tardy flower of it bom 
But once in a hundred years. 

And that flower ? — No flower I know, 
How magio soe'er its name, 

To southward or east, can show 
Such a glory of golden flame I 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

194 North Country Poets. 


There's a heart left lone in its gloom 

By lovers of every degree ; 
And it hides in a breast like a tomb, 
For the love of that heart could bloom 

But once for eternity. 

And that love ? — No passion whoso powers 
Are prompt to a transient flare 

Can vie with its fiery flowers, 
Or the smouldering fragrance there ! 


You may frown if you like, and I'll borrow 

Your sauciest smiles ; 
You may flirt, and I'll bid you good-morrow 

In scorn of your wiles. 
You may beckon, I loathe your alliance, 

Am deaf to your call ; 
You may threaten, I send you defiance. 
Whatever befall. 

For the sand must run 

With our hopes and fears, 
And all's one 

In a hundred years. 

You are bride of To-day, and the daughter 

Of Yesterday dead. 
And- your pedestalled feet in the slaughter 

Of millions are red ; 
But the Fates, they alone have the presage. 

Are queens of the earth ; 
And the Fates have enshrouded your visage — 

O blind from your birth ! 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

W. Gershom Collingwood. 195 

And seek it or shun, 

Laughing or tears, 
It's all one 

In a hundred years. 

You are feared by the high — then oppress them ; 

Tve nothing at stake. 
You're adored by the low, and may bless them ; 

You've nothing I'd take. 
Should you smite me, I smile at your blindness— 

My heart can endure ; 
Should you kiss me, I wince at a kindness 
That covers a lure. 

When the thread is spun, 

A snip of the shears, 
And all's one 
In a hundred years. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

196 North Country Poets. 

William Watson. 

Watson, to whom we owe some of the finest 
I produced in our generation, and one of the 
English elegiac poems produced in any generation, 
•m on the 2nd of August, 1858, at Burley-in- 
jdale, in the county of York. Gray, in one of the 
descriptive of his northern driving tours, men- 
as a pretty village, and such it remains to this 
3spite of modern additions tending to obscure its 
ancient charm. Of Mr. Watson's remoter ancestors on the paternal side 
little seems to be known, but his father admirably illustrated some of the 
best and most characteristic features of the typical Yorkshireman. On his 
mother's side Mr. Watson descended from an ancient and fine breed of 
Wensleydale yeomanry, and some of his maternal ancestors — notably his 
grandfather — seem to have possessed a certain measure of literary 
facility ; but it is probable that one of the weightiest and most impressive 
qualities of his mature verse— a certain elevated plainness, with perhaps 
more of intellectual than of purely emotional force — was derived from his 
father, who, though not distinguished in any marked degree by literary 
culture — his mental bent being rather in the direction of science — was a man 
of very massive and penetrating natural powers of mind. When the young 
Watson was but two years of age, his father removed to Liverpool, and 
embarked in what is known as the Dundee trade, achieving a fair amount 
of modest affluence, and winning the esteem and respect of all who were 
brought into contact with him. Here, in Liverpool, Mr. Watson received 
his education, and at an early age manifested a passion both for the reading 
and writing of poetry, having before the attainment of his fourteenth year 
produced a considerable amount of verse, which he himself declares to have 
been "marked by as complete an absence of the faintest promise of 
future excellence as the adolescent verse of the very greatest geniuses." 
If this were so his progress was certainly rapid, for when Mr. Watson 
was but a boy of sixteen he contributed to a Liverpool journal, then 
edited by the present writer, several short poems, which, if somewhat 
imitative in the externals of expression, possessed a lyrical flow and 
freedom, a coherence of thought, and a general felicity of phrasing 
in which, without f ancif ulness, we may see a prophecy of that distinction of 
style, that noteworthy mastery of the vehicle of language, by which his later 
work is so eminently distinguished. Scott and Byron seem to have been 
the poets by whom Mr. Watson was first attracted, and he is probably to be 
congratulated on not having been familiarised, at an age when such 
familiarisation is of doubtful advantage to the formation of a sound style, 
with the more subtle and complex developments of literary art. While on 
the border-ground between boyhood and manhood, he came to some extent 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William Watson. 


under the influence of the latter-day aesthetic school, and was temporarily 
diverted into paths somewhat alien to his real tendencies and powers. 
Traces of this influence are undoubtedly found in the title poem of his first 
volume, " The Prince's Quest, and other- Poems *' (Kegan Paul, & Co., 
1880), in which neither the arbitrary supernaturalism of the story, nor the 
occasional archaism of the style, is really characteristic ; but the wholesale 
repudiation of this early work, in which Mr. Wtftson seems inclined to 
indulge, will not be endorsed by any discriminating reader. The record of the 
Prince's wanderings in search of the dream-discerned City of Youth may 
be — and doubtless is — finer in parts than as a whole ; but some of the parts 
(I am thinking specially of half-a-dozen descriptions and one or two lyrics) 
have a body of imagination and a vesture of expression which possess not 
only an immediately arresting quality, but a permanent charm. Of the 
shorter poems in this early volume I have not space in which to speak, but 
some impression of their peculiar quality of feeling and utterance may be 
derived from the first two of the selected poems, " A Song of Three Singers," 
and ** The Questioner," in the latter of which the student of poetical 
technique may be interested to observe how the effect of solemnity is 
secured and intensified by the recurrence of a single rhyme sound. After 
the publication of " The Prince's Quest " volume Mr. Watson's next literary 
achievement which demands notice is a century of '* Epigrams," which 
originally appeared in the columns of the Academy, and were afterwards pub- 
lished in a dainty volume (Liverpool : G. G. Walmsley, 1884). Of these 
exquisite cameos of verse, which, in the mass, are unique in English poetry, 
I can only remark that they display in the most emphatic manner Mr. 
Watson's wonderful aptitude for the adequately imaginative utterance of 
condensed and concentrated thought. The finest of these epigrams may 
have been equalled, the weaker of them may have been excelled by other 
epigrammatists, but of the volume as a whole it is not too much to say that 
it stands alone. Not less noteworthy is a magnificent sonnet-sequence, 
entitled " Ver Tenebrosum," suggested by the events of the Soudanese war, 
which appeared in the National Review of June, 1885, to which magazine 
Mr. Watson also contributed the elegiac poem, '* Wordsworth's Grave," in 
which, perhaps, his genius finds its most massive and monumental embodi- 
ment, and concerning which I have elsewhere expressed my conviction that 
*• a century hence * Wordsworth's Grave ' will be numbered among the three 
or four great elegies which our language enshrines." To the general reader 
Mr. Watson is largely unknown, but he has been discovered by the lovers 
of essential poetry, and the future of his fame is certain, for his work is 
characterised by that grave sanity of thought and emotion, and that 
perfection of lucidly imaginative expression, which, amid all the chances 
and changes of literary fashion, constitute a valid claim to endurance in the 
memory of the world. 

James Ashcboft Noble. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

1 98 North Country Poets. 


Wave and wind and willow-tree 
Speak a speech that no man knoweth ; 
Tree thai sigheth, wind that bloweth, 
Wave that floweth to the sea : 
Wave and wind and willow-tree. 

Peerless, perfect poets ye, 
Singing songs all songs excelling, 
Fine as crystal music dwelling 
In a willing fountain free : 
Peerless, perfect poets three ! 

Wave and wind and willow-tree 
Know not aught of poets' rhyming, 
Yet they make a silver chiming. 
Sunward climbing minstrelsy, 
Soother than all songs that be. 

Blows the wind it knows not why. 
Flows the wave it knows not whither. 
And the willow swayeth hither, 
Swayeth thither witlessly. 
Nothing knowing, save to sigh. 


I asked of heaven and earth and sea, 
Saying : '* 0, wondrous trinity. 
Deign to make answer unto me. 
And tell me truly what ye be ? " 
And they made answer : '* Verily, 
The mask before His face are we, 
Because 'tis writ no man can see 
His face and live ; " — so spake the three. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William Watson. 199 

Then I : ** 0, wondrous trinity, 
A mask is but a mockery — 
Make answer yet again to me, 
And tell if aught besides are ye ? " 
And they made answer : " Verily 
The robe around His form are we, 
That sick and sore mortality 
May touch its hem and healM be." 
Then I : ** wondrous trinity, 
Vouchsafe once more to answer me. 
And tell me truly, what is He 
Whose very mask and raiment ye ? " 
But they replied : " Of Time are we. 
And of Eternity is He. 
Wait thou, and ask Eternity ; 
Belike his mouth shall answer thee." 


I close your Marlowe's page, my Shakespeare's ope. 

How welcome — after gong and cymbal's din — 
The continuity, the long slow slope 

And vast curves of the gradual violin. 

To keep in sight Perfection, and adore 
The vision, is the artist's best delight ; 

His bitterest pang, that he can do no more 
Than keep her longed-for loveliness in sight. 

Think not thy wisdom can illume away 
The ancient tanglement of night and day. 
Enough, to acknowledge both, and both revere ; 
They see not clearliest who see all things clear. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

200 North Country Poets. 

Love, like a bird, hath pereh'd upon a spray 
For thee and me to hearken what he sings. 

Contented, he forgets to fly away ; 

But hush ! . . . remind not Eros of his wings. 

Onward the chariot of the Untarrying moves ; 

Nor day divulges him nor night conceals ; 
Thou hear'st the echo of unreturning hooves 

And thunder of irrevocable wheels. 

I pluck'd this flower, brighter flower, for thee, 
There, where the river dies into the sea. 
To kiss it the wild west wind hath made free : 
Kiss it thyself and give it back to me. 



They wrong'd not us, nor sought 'gainst us to wage 

The bitter battle. On their God they cried 

For succour, deeming justice to abide 
In heaven, if banish'd from earth's vicinage. 
And when they rose with a gall'd lion's rage, 

We, on the captor's, keeper's, tamer's side. 

We, with the alien tyranny allied. 
We bade them back to their Egyptian cage. 
Scarce knew they who we were ! A wind of blight 

From the mysterious far north-west we came. 
Our greatness now their veriest babes have learn'd, 

Where, in wild desert homes, by day, by night, 
Thousands who weep their warriors unreturn'd, 

O England, O my country, curse thy name ! 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William Watson . 201 

Give honour to our heroes faH'ii, how ill 

Soever the cause that bade them forth to die. 

Honour to him, the untimely struck, whom high 
In place, more high in hope, 'twas fate's harsh will 
With tedious pain unsplendidly to kill. 

Honour to him, doom'd splendidly to die, 

Child of the city whose foster child am I, 
Who, hotly leading up the ensanguined hill 
His charging thousand, fell without a word — 

Fell, but shall fall not from our memory. 
Also for them let honour's voice be heard 

Who nameless sleep, while dull time covereth 
With no illustrious shade of laurel tree 

But with the poppy alone, their deeds and death. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

202 North Country Poets. 

Robert Kidson. 

N the fair region of Yorkshire, adjacent to Boche Abbey 
and Hatfield Chase, in which, according to tradition, 
Chaucer, the father of English poetry, spent part of his 
youth, Robert Kidson was born in the year 1848. His 
father, William Kidson, was for 50 years a draper at 
Bawtry, and there his family was born. 

Robert Kidson was apprenticed to a large carpet 
salesman in London, and in 1871, at the age of twenty- 
three, emigrated to America, where he still resides. In Brooklyn he 
combines the art of carpet selling with that of journalism and writing 
poetry. A series of " Trade Rhymes," which appeared in the Carpet Trade 
and Review^ and have been extensively copied in other newspapers, gained 
for him the title of •' The Poet of the Carpet Trade." He has taken a 
prominent part in various agitations for the benefit of his fellow- workers, 
and now in the early prime of life is respected by a large circle of friends. 
Though a good deal connected with journalism he is a thorough democrat, 
and rather proud of his position in the largest retail carpet house in 
America. He is of Walter Scott's opinion, that literature is a good staff 
but a poor crutch, and prefers to write when and what he likes. From 
time to time he has published, in various magazines and newspapers in the 
country of his adoption, poems on various subjects which he purposes 
shortly to bring together in a volume. His writings are characterized by a 
cheery optimism, which finds strong expression in the little poem which 
follows, entitled, ♦* Why should I write a weary poem ? " Sympathy with his 
kind comes out in most of his verse, and is expressed in easy flowing 

Though so closely connected with trade, and though first taken note of 
because of his " Trade Rhymes," yet readers of Robert Kidson's verse will 
find also poems which savour little of the marts of commerce, but are crisp 
with the salt sea air, or come like breezes from the mountain top and 
nature's fairest and most secure retreats, breathing the perfumes of wild 

Andrew Gbeame. 


Why should I write a weary poem 
A hundred stanzas long, 

When I can satisfy my soul 
With little trills of song ? 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Robert Kidson. 


The lark and nightingale sustain 

Their efforts of delight, 
The Bums and Byron of their tribe, 

They charm both day and night. 

Piercing the fires of mid-day sun. 
The lark, heaven-high sings he, 

And in the impassioned Summer night 
We hear Love's minstrelsy. 

Brown coated, humble and obscure, 
Seek I my hawthorn bush. 

Nor lark, nor nightingale can daunt 
The singing of the thrush. 


He has taken the vow of poverty, 

'Tis an ancient vow, yet new 
And strange to come from such as he, 

I can scarcely believe it true ; 
He was anxious, ambitious, strained each nerve 

To gain a place and name. 
But now he says that less will serve. 

And he cares no more for fame. 

He says he no longer seeks for wealth. 

But that riches come to him. 
All heaven is his, and his soul has health, 

And he dwells with the seraphim ; 
The hills are his, and the flocks and herds, 

The earth and the universe. 
The rhyme of streams, and the song of birds. 

And the poet's sweetest verse. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

204 North Country Poets. 

He says that his life of care and moil 

Is over, and past, and gone, 
And that now his soul delights in toil, 

For devotion leads him on ; 
He has left the selfish crowd behind, 

And his life is now serene ; 
Shakespeare was once his master-mind. 

But now 'tis the Nazarene. 


We are the latest heirs of time ; 

The ancient squire silent lies. 
Who, years agone, heard this same chime 

Of village bells ; whose wistful eyes 
Glanced eagerly across the plain, 

And scann'd with greed these snowy fields. 
Now they are ours — the garner'd grain 

For squires dead no pleasure yields. 

Oh Time 1 what happy heirs are thine 1 

Whose child is this I call my bride ? 
Along the old ancestral line 

What myriad shadowy lovers glide ; 
Procession form'd to march to rhyme. 

And lovers all, and old maids none. 
We are the latest heirs of time. 

We'll keep the pageant moving on. 

We are the latest heirs in line 

Of great republics long since dead. 
Whilst tyrannies, old world, are thine 1 

But here fair Freedom lifts her head — 
America — 'par excellence ! 

The bells of Heaven ring our chimes 
God's Love is our inheritance, 

And heirs are we to better times. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

"Robert Kidson. 205 


Watchman ! What of the night ? 
Now that the roseate light 
Like tiJal flood receding, 
Whose flow is past impeding, 
Hath left this Earth in gloom, 
Like melancholy tomb, 
Imprisoned in dense black, 
Oblivion's pathless track. 

What of the night, ye gazers ? 
Now that twilight's hazes 
Are lost in darkness deep, 
Which fleld and mountain steep. 
What of the night, ye toilers ? 
Slaves to tyrant spoilers. 
Squeezing out life's blood. 
To earn mere prison food. 
What of the night, ye minions ? 
On Pleasure's whirling pinions. 
Who night as day are found 
Taking the circling round. 

What saw ye, angels eyes ? 
Saw ye that bosom rise 
With love's acute emotion, 
Stirred like depths of ocean ; 
Saw ye that lovely bride, 
By love's bright fireside, 
More warmth her heart contained 
For him whose love she gained ; 
Saw ye when black despair 
Had gained an entrance there, 
Alone she then did brood, 
Drowned in widowhood. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

2o6 North Country Poets. 

Oh, wept ye not to see 
The world's great misery ; 
A part, a selfish race, 
Wealthy, but often base ; 
The rest, the millions buried. 
To death by squalor hurried. 

What saw ye, demons' eyes ? 
Saw ye vile passions rise, 
Oh, kindled ye the fire 
Of hellish base desire ; 
Did ye the murderer nerve 
Your dark designs to serve ; 
Did ye take active part. 
And aid with hellish art 
Love's power to abuse. 
And beauty to seduce : 
Away arch fiends to hell, 
Nor more sin's story tell. 

Divine Compassion weeps 
As half the planet sleeps, 
As on it rolls in gloom, 
Plunged in midnight's tomb. 
Divine Omniscience sees 
Worth poor, and sin in ease ; 
But ever through the night 
Mercy divine gleams bright, 
So watchman cry, '* 'Tis dawn 1 " 
For Mercy makes it morn. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William Hall Burnett. 207 

William Hall Burnett. 

r|lLLIAM Hall Bnrnett was born at Stokesley in Cleveland, 
on the 10th November, 1841. His parents being poor, 
his early education was necessarily limited, so that his 
intellectual attainments are entirely dne to his own in- 
domitable plnck and perseverance. He was a protSgS of 
William Braithwaite, the well-known printer, and friend 
of many celebrated authors. Inwards, Walker Ord, 
Tweddell, Heavisides, Prince, Cleaver, Kogerson, etc. 
He developed e&rly 9, penchant for elocution, so much so that he had recited 
to considerable audiences before he was ten years of age. By the time he 
had attained 13, he was at business, had taught himself *' the winged art," 
and was acting as correspondent at Stokesley for the York Herald, re- 
maining on the staff for ten years. At 15 he went to Middlesbrough as 
turn-over apprentice on the Middlesbrough News, of which journal he was 
appointed editor at the age of 19. During his apprenticeship he regularly 
contributed articles and poems to the Stockton Herald, the Leeds Mercury, 
the Newcastle Chronicle, the Newcastle Journal, Sheffield Independent, and other 
leading newspapers. On attaining his majority, he became the manager 
of the Middlesbrough Times, a position he held for a year, when, being 
offered a larger salary, he accepted the editorship of the liedcar and 
Saltbum-by-the-Sea Gazette. He had only acted in that capacity for a couple 
of years before he was re-appointed editor of the Middlesbrough News, 
which had changed its proprietory, again at an increased remuneration. 
At this time the circulation of that paper (a weekly, in the early days of 
journalism) was only about 1700, but thanks to the energy and verve of its 
editor, this was more than doubled in a very short time. Later, 
this energy was transferred to the Middlesbrough Weekly Exchange, a new 
journal, which, under Mr. Burnett's editorship, soon ran the older paper off 
the field. Subsequently he became editor of the Daily Exchange, which 
however, was not able to resist the influence of Company Dailies, and the 
terrible depression in the Cleveland iron trade, a depression which nearly 
brought all the older papers to a standstill, and ruined most of the 
leading business people in the place. During its palmiest days the 
circulation of the Exchange (a Tory paper in a Radical town) exceeded 9,000. 
Mr. Burnett left Middlesbrough at the end of 1887 for Blackburn, where 
he is now located as editor of the Blackburn Standard, the recognised 
Conservative paper in the town, which is acquiring new life under his 
energetic and alert literary management. 

In addition to writing many poems and much prose, Mr. Burnett is 
the author of a novel, entitled " The Miner's Death, and What Came of It ; " 
& brochure, "Broad Yorkshire," which has gone through two editions; 
*« A Guide to Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea ;" ** A Hand-book of 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

2o8 North Country Poets. 

Middlesbrongh" (with Dr. Veitch, Sir Lowthian Bell, A. Maopherson, and 
others), for the use of the British Association when they visited that place; 
and a work of biographical interest called " Old Cleveland." The latter book 
was subscribed for by the whole of the leading gentry of the district. In the 
course of a lengthy notice of the volume The Guardian (London) of October 26th, 
1887, said : — *< But the most interesting memoir in the volume will be found 
by many readers, in the story of " Sister Mary," the devoted and energetic 
founder of that first Middlesbrough Hospital which was the beginning of 
cottage hospitals in England. Mr. Burnett gives a vivid picture of a 
singularly beautiful life, marked as much by practical common sense as by 
devotion of the highest kind. And though apparently, no great friend to 
BituaUsm, he is careful to acknowledge that her life derived its first im- 
pulse and abiding impress from the teaching received in St. Saviour's 
Church, at Leeds. The present volume is announced as merely the first 
section of a projected series. It may be hoped that Mr. Burnett will 
receive sufficient encouragement to enable him to carry out his purpose." 
And Joseph Cowen, writing to Mr. Burnett concerning ** Old Cleveland," 
gays : — " I have read your book with pleasure ; it is extremely interesting, 
and very well done." That Mr. Burnett lived an active and useful life in 
Middlesbrough is shewn by the fact that when he left it in 1887, he was 
a member of nearly a score of committees, the Council of the Cleveland 
Agricultural Society, and the Committee of the North Biding Infirmary 
and the Cottage Hospital being amongst the number. 

Mr. Burnett's many friends, both old and new, will be interested to 
learn that he has several books ready for immediate publication and in 
the press, amongst them being a considerably enlarged life of "Sister 
Mary ; " ** Sunlight in the Slums ; " " The Blackburn and East Lancashire 
Infirmary; " and a series of " Holiday Rambles by Road and Field Path, " 
with several illustrations by Herbert Railton. The two d?alect poems 
given here are from " Broad Yorkshire," the shorter one being a classic in 
tiie Cleveland district. 

^_____^__^_^ W. A. ASHTON. 


(In the present poem an attempt has been made rigidly to express 
the phonetic value of Broad Yorkshire vowel sounds.) 

All's Yorkshire ! bi mi truly ! 

Ah is, Ah'm proud ti say ; 
Just try ya ti get ower mah, 

Ye'll hev eneaf ti deah. 
Ah*8 oppen-gobbed and soft like ; 

Ah knaw mare than Ah tell ; 
The fellah that wad bite mah, 

All seaf get bit his sell. 

Ah's Yorkshire. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William Hall Burnett. 209 

Ah's Yorkshire ! Ah's a plain stick, 

What's that ? It's been mi luck, 
Ti be like monny a dabmond, 

Covered at top wP muck. 
Some foaks wear t* muck at insard 

Seah deep it's scarcely seen, 
Noah's flood a pure soft watter 

Wad scaircely wesh em' clean. 

Ah's Yorkshire. 

Ah's Yorkshire ! Ah's true-hearted. 

Ah luv a real awd frind. 
An' Ah alius stick up for him, 

An' his good neam defend. 
If ony chap should call him, 

An' Ah be stannin by, 
Ah lets him knaw his bizness. 

An' this is t' reason why — 

Ah's Yorkshire. 

Ah's Yorkshire ti the back bean, 

Out-spokken frank and free. 
Ah hate a lear as Ah hate 

Awd Nick, that tell'd fost lee. 
Ance Ah may be catch'd nappin', 

We all may slip sum day, 

Biit twice if ye get ower mah, 

Ah nivver mair al say, 

Ah's Yorkshire. 

Ah's Yorkshire ! Ah's endivverin 

Whativver foaks may say ; 
Ah can't abear ti be i' debt, 

Ah likes ti pay mi way. 
Ah's green Ah knaw, but what's the good, 

A credit and sike stuff, 
Those 'at can pay for all they git 

Al alius stand bum-pruf. 

Ah's Yorkshire. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


North Country Poets. 

Ah's Yorkshire 1 Debt deant fret mah, 

Worrit an' mak ma thin, 
There's nnt a man iv England 

Can say AhVe stick or pin 
That's niwer yit been paid for. 

Crack that nnt if you can ! 
Seah bein independent 

Ah's a truly happy man ! 

Ah's Yorkshire. 

Ah's Yorkshire ! Bi mi truly ! 

Ah is Ah'm proud ti' say ; 
Ah's fond at grand awd county, 

An trust at lang Ah may ; 
England wer nowt without it, 

An' its brave-hearted men, 
Ah'U drink ther health, and wish em wealth, 

Because Ah's yan mysen. 

Ah's Yorkshire. 


There was yance a tarm i' mi life when Ah was soft as suds need be. 
When Ah thought my nybours wer just as gud as each gud man 

seeamed ti be. 
That's a lang lang tarm gon back : AhVe altered my marn'd sen 

An' now Ah think there's very few folks that's hawf si gud as mysen. 

Loke-a-day 1 Ah went a sweet-hearting : Ah'd a bonny smooth- 

feeaced lass ; 
She teld mah she were fond o' ma* and things gat ti* sike a pass 
That we wer about bein wed, an we'd actilly neamed the day, 
When sha picked up another fella an' left ma ti gan mi oan way. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William Hall Burnett. 211 

Ah was telPd at foaks were punished at played sike a wicked trick, 
But she seemed ti me ti bi appy, tho' Ah meead but a sorry fick : 
God luv her ; Ah wer fain ti fergiv her, but tho' now Ah's siwenty 

Ah've walked the journey o' life by mysel unmarried and alone. 

There was yance a tann i' my life, when Ah thought all parsons 

wer good ; 
Especially the noisy sooart ; for ther preachin stirred yer blood ; 
An Ah thowt when Ah eeard em pray, the kindom of iwen had 

An' the divvel wad hev ti emigrate ti sum pleeace where he'd hev 

mair rum. 

But lose-a-me ! Ah've altered mi marn'd, an' nut afore 'twer tarm, 
Fur them noisy, ranting parsons they nivver deeah gud but harm ; 
The young fellows lead the wimmin astray, an* the awd 'uns trick 

the men, 
There's a varry few parsons i' the world at*s a quarter as gud as 

my sen. 

Poor divvel, just hear 'em run him down ; and threaten their 

hearers wi pains 
Through a lang, lang, lang etarnity cursing ther bodies an' brains; 
An' all the tarm if the divvel wer gon its plain eneeaf ti be seen 
The parsons wad miss the best frind they hev, that is leeaking wi 

common sense een. 

The divvel's a good investment for thousans a parson fooak ; 
He pays magnificent divvidends — an' marn'd A'hm nut writing a 

joke — 
He's the greatest frind at the parsons hev, they may pummel him 

as they will, 
An* shud he ivver be cheeaned ageean, what wagging tongues wad 

be still ! 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

212 North Country Poets. 

There was yance a tarm i' my life, when Ah thowt all rogues 

wer i' prison fast — 
What a feeal Ah was ! What a dabble feeal, AhVe seen these lang 

years past. 
The biggest rogues i' the universe are basking out i' the sun, 
An' yan reads i' pious biographies the grand things they hev dun. 

What honour there is iv our merchants : what honesty i' trade ; 
Dar ony man honestly say now-a-days how monny a fortun' is 

That new word, ** liquidation," explains how monny a knave 
Walks up to the seeats o' the nobles, that's ower meean ti be even 

a slave. 

Lose-a-me ! Wi ther bran new things an' ther toggery, how they 

Wi impidence fra Lundun town, an' polish fresh fra France I 
Poor moths, that toy wi the candle o' prard, they'll bon ther wings 

sum day, 
An' they'll leean that prard is painful, as my feyther used to say. 

There was yance a tarm i' mi life, when Ah thowt all gud fooaks 

wer gud. 
An' ther was ony yah karn'd o' leeing that was easily understood; 
But lees can hi drissed like truth, an' leeak mightily like it anno]e, 
An' the lees that are round about are them that meeast fret and 

worry yer soul. 

There was yance a tarm i* mi life, when Ah thowt a friend was a 

An' you'd only ti' ask for the gowd if he'd ony money ti lend. 
Ah'd a kamd of a silly idee, as weel, it wad pleeas him much ti 

An' he'd rush wi the cheque iv his hand ti pay, an' smile fra the 

depths of his heart. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William Hall Burnett. 213 

Ah've altered mi marnd sen then — an' this mony a lang lang day, 

The joy o' mi life has been ti honestly pay mi way ; 

Ti honestly liv for mysel, an' mak the plizure o' life 

A modest use o' the world's gud things, that on iwery sard are rife. 

The mooarning sun, the stars at neet, the blue o' the summer sea, 
Are mair bi far ti mi heart o' hearts then frin'd an' kin can be : 
An' the deein o' worthy things, apart fra praise or blame — 
Theease, theease, it is that el ivver bring a joy that is dearer nor 

Ah, Fame ! that's another bauble that fills a young fellow's 

The dearest ov earthly guerdons this breet deceeaver seeams ; 
It's all mi eye I The best ov all fame is that we carry insard, 
That tells us there's joy in deeing the reet, whativver else betard. 

Sike is mi view o' life, now Ah's come ti the clooase o' the day. 
Ah've pairted wi mony illusions, but this Ah will alius say : 
There's niwer a tarm i' life when the truth weant stand ya a friend. 
An' a reet down honest man all alius hev summat ti spend. 



I've read in story books full oft 

Of pleasant cities o'er the wave, 
With dome, and spire, and minaret. 

And ruins marking Art's fair grave. 
I've read of valleys of the South, 

And happy islands far away. 
Blooming beneath eternal sun 

In all the wealth of nature gay. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

214 North Country Poets. 


But oh, within my coDstant heart 

A red roof 'd village greenly dwells : 
No traveller from the sunny South 

Knows half the rapture in me swells 
When muse I on the time that's past, 

The old, old home of early youth, 
Blooming with halcyon memories 

Of early love, and troth, and truth. 

Even whilst I muse upon its joys, 

My fancy doth in vagrance stray ; 
My heart is like an empty room. 

And all my thoughts are far away : 
By Leven's stream, on Galdmoor's hill, 

I wander, as in days gone by ; 
The glorious meadows shine again, 

Befreshing oft my woe- worn eye. 

The woods their queenliest foliage wear, 

The streams chaunt to the summer sun, 
The village bells across the vale 

Chime in the evening shadows dun ; 
The rooks in immemorial trees 

Awake their chorus of delight, 
And all sweet sounds and sights of earth 

Possess the day and fill the night. 


The memory of early friends. 

Long since like me in exile driven, 
Gomes like a soothing breeze of eve 

To weary traveller often given. 
Befreshing love ! may I full oft 

E'en now thy early portion share, 
And friendship be the bond of Truth, 

The cordial in life's draught of care. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William Hall Burnett. 


In the fair cities of the South 

No loving hearts appeal to me ; 
In carven stone and monument, 

Naught but a frigid Art I see. 
I love to note the pride of mind, 

Aspiring to piarfection's goal, 
But what is sweet society 

But heaven to the human soul ? 


Oh, there was one who taught me well. 

E'en in the blush of life's young day. 
How olden Eden is regained 

By being true and pure alway. 
I know since then full many a fall 

Has led me on a lower road, — 
But still my heart aspires the same 

To truth, humanity, and God. 

Oh, queenly valley of the North, 

I love thee with a lasting love ! 
True as the needle to the pole, 

I turn to thee where'er I rove. 
Fair oasis of the wilderness, 

Bright Eden left to me on earth ! 
I love thee with a lasting love ! 

I love thee ! Valley of the North. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

2i6 North Country Poets. 

William Leighton. 

NDEE, in the year 1841, was the birth-place of the 
subject of this notice. In his seventh year his family 
removed to Liverpool, where William Leighton received 
his education and passed the remainder of his life. At 
an early age he went to business in the office of a firm 
of merchants, rising in a few years to the position of 
managing and confidential clerk. He very early com- 
menced writing poems, and, in spite of the constant 
labour entailed by his position, made considerable progress in that art. 
His death on April 22nd, 1869, at the early age of twenty-eight, closed a 
career of much promise. His writings, in spite of unfavourable circum- 
stances, shew a marked improvement with ripening years, and it was not 
unnaturally expected that he would produce work of a still higher character. 
Many of his poems on National subjects appeared originally in the Liverpool 
Mercury^ and he contributed to several of the magazines. In private life he 
was esteemed by a large circle of friends for his cheerful and happy dis- 
position, tender sympathies, and thoughtful kindness. 

His productions are mainly distinguished by thoughtful tenderness, in 
many cases with a religious bent. Perhaps one of his best pieces is that 
entitled " Baby died to-day," which, for what it suggests, as much as for 
what it expresses, has become very popular. 

Andrew Gbeame. 


Lay the little limbs out straight ; 

Gently tend the sacred clay ; 
Sorrow- shaded is our fate — 

Baby died to-day ! 

Fold the hands across the breast, 
So, as when he knelt to pray ; 

Leave him to his dreamless rest — 
Baby died to-day. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William Leighton. 217 

Voice, whose prattling infant lore 
Was the music of our way, 

Now is hushed for evermore — 
Baby died to-day. 

Sweet blue eyes, whose sunny gleams 
Made our waking moments gay, 

Now can shine but in our dreams — 
Baby died to-day I 

Still a smile is on his face, 
But it lacks the joyous play 

Of the one we used to trace — 
Baby died to-day. 

Give his lips our latest kiss ; 

Dry your eyes and come away ; 
In a happier world than this 

Baby lives to-day I 


The sun is flooding the eastern sky 
"With a blaze of silver light ; 

The fresh green foliage waving high, 
Is fringed with a flame of white ; 

And far above, from the topmost air, 
The showering lark-notes break ; 

And the spirit of beauty floats every where- 
Sweet my lady, awake I 

A slow breeze steals o'er the dewy land. 

From its home in the dreamy South, 
' And scatters a perfume on every hand 
As sweet as the breath of your mouth ; 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

2i8 North Country Poets. 

And the tremulous boughs, as they bend and sway, 

A murmurous music make ; 
And bright on the brooklet the sunbeams play — 

Sweet my lady, awake I 

The river that lay in its dusky repose 

Through the long lone hours of night, 
Now laughs in the lustre that sunrise throws 

And ripples in rosy light ; 
And the hills that loomed like shadowy ghosts 

A clearer outline take ; 
And the white sails glimmer along the coasts — 

Dear my lady, awake ! 

The violet lifts its eye of blue 

To the bending blue above ; 
And the roses, bathed in a drench of dew. 

Are breathing of beauty and love ; 
And the lily stoops its head to kiss 

Its shadow within the lake — 
never was morning so lovely as this ! 

Dear my lady, awake ! 

Awake ! for a music is flooding the air. 

And melting along the deep. 
When nature is all awake and so fair, 

O, why should my lady sleep ? 
A passionate sigh begins to start 

And from the depth of each thicket and brake — 
A sigh that finds echo within my heart — 

O, sweet, my lady, awake ! 

Awake ! and come where the zephyr moves 

In ripples across the grass ; 
Awake ! and come to the lake that loves 

To mirror your form as you pass ; 
And come, O come, to the heart that pines 

And languishes for your sake ; 
And bright eyes shall blind each dew-drop that shines — 

Dear my lady, awake ! 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

William Leighton. 



The shadows lengthen ; and the twilight is falling ; 

The labours and cares of the day are ended : 
A peace settles over the city's brawling, 

Like the mirrowed glow of the sunset splendid. 
And sparrow and robin and skylark and throstle 

Are silent now in leafy recesses, — 
Calmly and warmly and safely they nestle 

In the shadowy bliss of soft caresses. 

On the skirts of the city my nest is waiting, 

Warm with a glow that is grateful and tender ; 
And the world, with its striving and sinning and hating, 

Melts in the light of its sacred splendour. 
What though my dove cot be poor and lowly ? 

Love's kingly sway makes the dwelling royal ! 
Peace, like a cherubim pure and holy, 

Fills every heart with a faith life-loyal I 

Cosy warm nest 1 every bounty and blessing 

Linger about thee as years o*er thee gather ; 
Joys bide within thee ; and mercies unceasing 

Eain from the bountiful hand of the Father ! 
Hope's budding promises break without number 

Eich 'mong thy leaflets, and burst into blossom : 
Sweet be thy glad waking hours ! and thy slumber 

Calm as the sleep of a babe on the bosom ! 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


North Country Poets, 

Joseph Cooper. 

^ V OSEPH Cooper was born h.t Thornsett, near New Mills, 
Derbyshire, 9th Nov. 1810, and received only the scanty 
education which in his early days was thought sufiGicient 
for the children of the poor. His mother was a deeply 
religious woman, whose influence upon her son was of the 
happiest. He was for years engaged in business in Man- 
chester, and having made what is a competence for a man 
of his moderation, he retired, and has for several years 
past enjoyed a useful leisure at Eaves Enowl, where his cottage stands upon 
a commanding eminence overlooking many picturesque miles of scenery in 
North Derbyshire and East Cheshire. Mr. Cooper has given valuable 
assistance in the local government of his native district as member of the 
Board of Guardians, and Local Board, but the best energies of his 
life have been devoted to the temperance cause. His earnestness, his 
experience of life, his humour, his power of speech and song, have stood 
him in good stead, and made him a most acceptable advocate of temperance. 
Amongst the Good Templars he holds a position of distinction as an Honorary 
Deputy of the Chief Templar. Mr. Cooper is a member of the Manchester 
Literary Club, and in former years it was one of the characteristic events 
of the gathering when Cooper gave the * * Owdham Melludy." His temperance 
verses have had a large circulation, and been printed by hundreds of thou- 
sands, a large consignment having been sent to the Crimea for the use of 
the English soldiers before Sebastopol. The " Temperance Minstrel," 
" Temperance Reciter," " Gems and Tit-bits," are amongst the titles of his 
publications, and in addition he has issued numerous broadsides bearing 
upon the reform to which he has devoted himself. The quality of his 
verses varies, but probably the best are *• Bodle the Bouser," •* An Owdham 
Melludy," and " Helping God to make the Flowers grow." 

William E. A. Axon. 


Air. — " Afon at Mesthur Grundy^s" 

Tother Setthurdy neet, aw thowt it wur reet, 

Afthor a hard week's laybur, 
For t* get a quart, at th' owd White Hart, 

Wi* Bill at Tom's my naybur ; 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Joseph Cooper. 221 

So in aw went, an' sixpunse spent, 

In a quart a real stingo, 
It war so good, it warmt my blood. 

Aw wur t' double mon, by jingo. 

In comes Sam Blakes, who sells wut cakes, 

Eeaw-heels, an' troipe, and trotters ; 
Owd Bawsun Ned, ut Betty wed, 

And in Jawm Jenny totters, 
I ask'd Ned t' sup — he swoipt it op. 

Says he by gum — ** What stingo I " 
Aw'U stond a quart w' o my heart ; 

Awm a gradely mon, by jingo . 

Owd Fidlur Ben, 'gan playin' then : — 

He made th' owd fiddle t' spake mon ; 
We doanc'd an* sung — th* ale wur so strung, 

Aw bawstunt one 0' my clogs, mon ; 
At twelve o'clock, they turn'd eawt th' stock. 

My yed it reelt wi' t' stingo ; 
Aw wur drunk enoof ; aw fell it soof , 

Au' could no' stur, by jingo ; 

A mon in blue his trunchun drew, 

And thump'd my on my back, so ; 
Believe me, sur, aw could no' stur. 

So he dragg'd me off to limbo : 
Theer o* t* next day, awr forc'd t' stay. 

My yed an' booans they warch't so ; 
Aw made a vow, aw kept till now, 

Aw'd drink no more owd stingo. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

222 North Country Poets. 


(A Lancashire Tale.) 

A goggle-eyed fuddler, as usual, bout brass, 
Sat studyia' oae mornin' heaw t' raise another glass ; 
He're a bit of a coalyer, or raither a snob, 
But he noather liked wark nor them ut set him at th' job ; 
He liked ale— O' three-penny ale ! 

He walk'd int* owd Neddy's so neat and so nimbly, 
Sayin* — ** Dang it, owd Ned, aw shud like t' goo up th' 

chimbly ; " 
So owd Neddy says — ** Dang it, owd Bodle, goo up. 
An* I'll gi' thee a quart o' good ale for to sup, 

O' good ale — O, three-penny ale I 

So Bodle at wonst set th' tone foot o' th* top bar, 
An' went climbing aloft like a gradely jack tar ; 
Well, owd Neddy 'ur so pleas't, he sheawts ** hey, lads, hey, 
Owd Bodle's gwon chlyen up th' chimbly to-day. 
For some ale — good throe-penny ale I " 

Then owd Neddy sheawts *' Bodle, goo on, lad, goo on, 
Go through wi' it, Bodle, theaw'rt a reet un, bi th' mon ; 
Aw like a brave fellow, aw do i' my heart. 
An' if t' gets eawt at th' top, mon, aw'U gi' thee a quart 
0' good ale — good three-penny ale." 

But while owd Ned sheawted like a nat'ral clown, 
Bodle let goo his howd, an' coom shutterin' deawn ; 
He leet wi' his hinder-end thump o' th' top bar, 
Eoirt deawn, an' a gradely blash-boggart he wor, 
for ale — 0, three-penny ale I 

He're so buried i' soot, he could hardly be seen, 
While owd Neddy stood leaughing an' wipin' his een, 
Sayin' — ** Ta* thy woint, Bodle, theaw'st have a quart moor. 
My chimbly wor ne'er swept uz chlyen afore ; 

Nan, bring th' ale, that three-penny ale ! 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Joseph Cooper. 223 

So yo* seen wot contrivances men han for drink, 
To get it without oather credit or jink ; 
For to credit a drunkard folks dunnot like th* job. 
And jink's eawt o'th' question when a hole's in the fob, 
Made by ale— 0, three-penny ale I 


One hot and sultry summer's eve, 

After a scorching day, 
A sweet girl with a watering-can 

To the garden went her way ; 
And as she sprinkled drooping plants, 

Her stainless soul did glow. 
To think that she was helping God 

To make the flowers grow. 

A mother, with a mother's care, 

Went out to seek her child. 
And seeing her engaged at work 

Enquired with accents mild : 
** What are you doing there, my love ? 

I should be glad to know." 
The child replied, ** I'm helping God 

To make the flowers grow.*' 

' Mid clashing tenets, dogmas, creeds, 

This child's the one for me ; 
It seems a photograph of Him 

Who died upon the tree. 
He spent His time in doing good, 

Relieving pain and woe, 
In deserts wild and wilderness 

Helping God*s flowers to grow. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

224 North Country Poets. 

He at the grave of Lazarus 

Shed tears and heav'd a groan ; 
Then said unto the lookers on, 

« Take ye away the stone." 
He could have done without their aid, 

But wished the world to know 
That God expects his followers 

To help His flowers to grow 

' Tis written, He ssid, " Learn of me,*' 

Be trustful as a child, 
While passing through this sin-stained world 

Walk blameless, undefiled. 
Be beacon-lights set on a hill, 

A good example show, 
Haply your upright walk and talk 

May help God's flowers to grow. 

The fields are ripe for harvest-time. 

The labourers are few ; 
Take spade, or rake, or water-can. 

There's work for all to do. 
If you can't plough the stubborn field. 

Or reap the corn, or mow, 
You may remove the weed, and help 

To make God's flowers to grow. 

Cut down, root up the Upas trees 

The wicked one hath sown, — 
Some that have stood for centuries. 

Till they are hoary grown ; 
Those licensed dens that dole out death. 

And drape the land with woe, 
Help us to close them if you wish 

To help God's flowers to grow. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Joseph Cooper. 225 

Legions of learned, earnest souls 

Are preaching with their might, 
Wooing, also beseeching men 

To come to the true light ; 
But while the preacher buildeth up, 

Dram-vendors overthrow ; 
Christian, abstain, if you would help 

To make God's flowers to grow. 

Friends, you may help with a kind word. 

Or sweet and gentle smile. 
To lift the withered, drooping head 

Of stricken son of toil. 
We all can work on sunny days, 

And the 'mid-winter's snow, 
** Remembering the forgotten " 

Will help God's flowers to grow. 

The earth's the garden of the Lord, 

His flowers grow everywhere. 
But flourish most in holy ground — 

Plots fertilised by prayer. 
Our churches, chapels. Sabbath schools. 

Where many here we know 
Are by example, word, and purse. 

Helping God's flowers to grow. 

Friends, let us toil, while yet 'tis day. 

Both to be, and to do good, 
That we may hear the Master say 

** Thou hast done what thou could." 
When angels shout the harvest-home. 

May heaven's register show 
Our names among the ** well done " band 

Who helped God's flowers to grow. 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 

226 North Country Poets. 

Lord Houghton. 

is twenty years," wrote the late Matthew Browne, 
" since I heard a bundle of rags in a gutter singing, * I 
wandered by the brook-side, I wandered by the mill ; ' 
and it is not three years since I heard the same bundle of 
rags, scarcely changed in face, voice, coat, trousers, 
spatterdashes, or otherwise, sing the same song in 
another gutter." This was written in 1872. Another 

sixteen years have passed away, and there has been no 

diminution in the popularity of Lord Houghton's beautiful and tender song. 
There have been greater poets who have stirred fewer hearts. "Who would 
not be glad to have written ** Strangers Yet," which has within it the 
promise of immortality, being one of the most cherished of English ballads ? 
It is possible that a similar favourite passage of *' In Memoriam " may be 
forgotten before these lines :— 

He, who for Love has undergone 

The worst that oan befall 
Is happier thousand-fold than one 

Who never loved at all ; 
A grace within his soul has reigned, 

Whioh nothing else can bring— 
Thank God for all that I have gained. 
By that high suffering I 

Tet Lord Houghton was so much the patron and encourager of poets that 
for that very reason he missed something of the poetic distinction to which 
he was himself entitled. Critics have thought more of how he helped poor 
David Gray than of how he now and then wrote poems which found their 
way to an inmieasurably wider audience than any which the author of 
" The Luggie, and Other Poems," ever contrived to reach. Perhaps a 
further reason why his genius has been under-rated is to be found in the 
fact that he always, and as if by design, gave the impression of being in 
everything an amateur. He was serious, but not quite earnest, an apparent 
contradiction in terms which will be intelligible enough to those who knew 
him. He had a keen appreciation of the pleasantness of life, and never 
felt that spur which circumstances apply, sometimes with cruel keenness, 
to less fortunate men. The dry details of Lord Houghton's life are 
sufficiently well known ; the more intimate particulars are shortly to be 
related by Mr. Wemyss Beid. 

Bichard Monckton Milnes was born at Ferrybridge, Yorkshire, in 
June, 1809. He went to Trinity College, Cambridge, where, in 1831, he 
took his M.A. degree. It was the sister university which conferred upon 
him the honorary degree of D.C.L. For twenty -six years he sat in 
Parliament as member for Pontefract, and was really, though not 
obtrusively, useful. With general Liberal leanings, he had no very clearly 
defined political creed, being interested, indeed, much more in social than 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Lord Houghton. 227 

political questions. Lord Falmerston would have given him a seat in his 
Government, hut to have accepted it would have taken something from the 
joys of life, and so it was declined. Milnes interested himself much in the 
reform of our penal institutions, and hrought into the House of Oonmions 
the first Bill which proposed the establishment of Juvenile Beformatories. 
In 1863, he was raised to the House of Peers. Matthew Browne, already 
quoted, was a reporter of the Committees of the House of Lords, and he 
says that Lord Houghton had a habit of mastering a case and then going 
to sleep. There was a Bailway Bill before the Committee. The time had 
come for giving the decision. "Shall we wake Milnes?" said the 
chairman, in a whisper audible enough to the public outside the barrier — 
(his peerage was then rather new)— and just nudged " Milnes," whispering, 
"What do you say, Houghton?" **0h," said his lordship, opening his 
eyes, " give 'em the running powers ; " and walked off to the window again 
to enjoy the view. This is a characteristic anecdote. Lord Houghton 
had a happy facility in doing most things, and agitated himself greatly 
about nothing. 

I last saw Lord Houghton at a dinner of the Newspaper Press Fond. 
It was a position in which he was invariably happy, for he made admirable 
after-dinner speeches. He was the President of the Fund from its 
foundation and up to his death. He was also the President of the London 
Library, in succession to Carlyle. His contributions to literature were 
considerable, seeing with how little eagerness he pursued the author's 
trade. Besides several books of verse, he wrote two charming volumes of 
gossip and criticism, entitled, " Monographs, Personal and Social." His 
" Life and Letters of Keats " is still the standard work, though its 
frankness drew a scathing rebuke from the poet Laureate. He contributed 
" One Tract More " to the Tractarian Controversy, and wrote much on 
the leading subjects of his day. In his later years Lord Houghton suffered 
from a paralytic seizure, the effects of which remained slightly visible in 
a shaking of the hand and a nervous habit of body ; but up to the last he 
was a man of delightful manners, of keen intelligence, and unpretending 
gentleness and simplicity. He died in 1885, the last of the aristocratio 
patrons of literature. 

Aabon Watson. 


Strangers yet I 
After years of life together, 
After fair and stormy weather, 
After travel in far lands, 
After touch of wedded hands, — 
Why thus joined ? Why ever met, 
If they must be strangers yet ? 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

228 North Country Poets. 

Strangers yet 1 
After childhood's winning ways, 
After care and blame and praise, 
Counsel asked and wisdom given, 
After mutual prayers to Heaven, 
Child and parent scarce regret 
When they part — are strangers yet. 

Strangers yet ! 
After strife for common ends — 
After title of " old friends," 
After passions fierce and tender, 
After cheerful self-surrender. 
Hearts may beat and eyes be met, 
And the souls be strangers yet. 

Strangers yet ! 
Oh 1 the bitter thought to scan 
All the loneliness of man : — 
Nature, by magnetic laws, 
Circle unto circle draws, 
But they only touch when met, 
Never mingle — strangers yet. 

Strangers yet ! 
Will it evermore be thus — 
Spirits still impervious ? 
Shall we never fairly stand 
Soul to soul as hand to hand ? 
Are the bounds eternal set 
To retain us — strangers yet ? 

Strangers yet ! 
Tell not Love it must aspire 
Unto something other — higher : 
God himself were loved the best 
Were our sympathies at rest, 
Best above the strain and fret 
Of the world of — strangers yet ! 

Strangers yet 1 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Lord Houghton. 



Why should a man raise stone and wood 

Between him and the sky ? 
Why should he fear the brotherhood 

Of all things from on high ? 
Why should a man not raise his form 

As shelterless and free 
As stands in sunshine or in storm 

The mountain and the tree ? 

Or if we thus, as creatures frail 

Before our time should die, 
And courage and endurance fail 

Weak Nature to supply ; — 
Let us at least a dwelling choose, 

The simplest that can keep 
From parching heat and noxious dews 

Our pleasure and our sleep. 

The Fathers of our mortal race, 

While still remembrance nursed 
Traditions of the glorious place 

Whence Adam fled accursed, — 
Bested in tents, as best became 

Children, whose mother earth 
Had overspread with sinful shame 

The beauty of her birth. 

In cold they sought the sheltered nook. 

In heat the airy shade. 
And oft their casual home forsook 

The morrow it was made ; 
Diverging many separate roads. 

They wandered, fancy-driven. 
Nor thought of other fixed abodes 

Than Paradise or Heaven. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

230 North Country Poets. 

And while this holy sense remained, 

'Mid easy shepherd cares, 
In tents they often entertained 

The Angels unawares : 
And to their spirits' fervid gaze 

The mystery was revealed, 
How the world's wound in future days 

Should by God's love be healed. 

Thus we, so late and far a link 

Of generation's chain, 
Delight to dwell in tents and think 

The old world young again ; 
With Faith as wide and Thought as narrow 

As theirs, who little more 
From life demanded than the sparrow 

Gay-chirping by the door. 

The Tent ! how easily it stands, 

Almost as if it rose 
Spontaneous from the green or sand. 

Express for our repose : 
Or rather, it is we who plant 

This root, where'er we roam, 
And hold, and can to others grant, 

The comforts of a home. 

Make the Divan — the carpets spread. 

The ready cushions pile ; 
Best, weary heart I rest, weary head ! 

From pain and pride awhile : 
And all your happiest memories woo, 

And mingle with your dreams 
The yellow desert glimmering through 

The subtle veil of beams. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Lord Houghton. 


We all have much we would forget — 

Be that forgotten now ! 
And placid Hope, instead, shall set 

Her seal upon your brow : 
Imagination's prophet eye 

By her shall view unfurled 
The future greatnesses that lie 

Hid in the Eastern world. 

To slavish tyrannies their term 

Of terror she foretells ; 
She brings to bloom the faith whose germ 

In Islam deeply dwells ; 
Accomplishing each mighty birth 

That shall one day be bom 
From marriage of the western earth 

With nations of the morn ! 

Then fold the Tent — then on again ; 

One spot of ashen black 
The only sign that here has lain 

The traveller's recent track : 
And gladly forward, safe to find 

At noon and eve a home, 
Till we have left our Tent behind, 

The homeless ocean foam I 


I wandered by the brook-side, 

I wandered by the mill, — 

I could not hear the brook flow. 

The noisy wheel was still ; 

There was no burr of grasshopper. 

Nor chirp of any bird, 

But the beating of my own heart 

Was all the sound I heard. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


North Country Poets. 

I sat beneath the elm-tree, . 

I watched the long, long, shade, 

And as it grew still longer, 

I did not feel afraid ; 

For I listened for a footfall, 

I listened for a word, — 

But the beating of my own heart 

Was all the sound I heard. 

He came not,-^no, he came not, — 
The night came on alone, — 
The little stars sat, one by one, 
Each on his golden throne ; 
The evening air passed by my cheek, 
The leaves above were stirr'd, — 
But the beating of my own heart 
Was all the sound I heard. 

Fast, silent, tears were flowing, 
When something stood behind, 
A hand was on my shoulder, 
I knew its touch was kind : 
It drew me nearer — nearer, — 
We did not speak one word. 
For the beating of our own hearts 
Was all the sound we heard. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Joseph Baron. 


Joseph Baron. 

Kl HIS well-known Blackburn prose and verse writer was born 
I at Bishton, near the big borough on the Blakewater, on 
the 7th of May, 1869, He was educated at the Blackburn 
Grammar School, and first began to devote himself to 
literature at seventeen years of age. The word ** devote " 
in his case is not misapplied, for his love of books and 
•• booky stuff," always of the best description, approaches 
the zeal of a religious enthusiast for some favourite cult. 
Poems in the Lancashire dialect, and in ordinary and old-fashioned English, 
of both a serious and humorous description, drop from his pen like water 
from some perennial spring. These appear from time to time mainly in 
the local journals. He prefers, however, the mirth-making role, and if 
writing prose he cannot resist the strength or weakness of a pun, which he 
mercilessly perpetrates. His farce, "Grandfather's Clock,** was produced 
at the New Sadlers Wells Theatre, London, in December, 1883, and had a 
good run. His poems and writings of various kinds are very voluminous. 
The appended are specimens of his ready muse, which has already asserted 
its powers in some of our leading periodicals. At the present time he has a 
comedietta ready for production, and has also in hand other publications in 
prose and verse.. We may safely predict for this young author a successful 

W. H. Burnett. 


When from Pandora's fateful box 

(Ah, cursed dowry for a bride !) 
The giant evils flew in flocks, 

Afflicting mortals far and wide. 
Amongst them were Deceit and Pride, 

With Falsehood, ever at their call. 
And Slander, with its lightning stride,. 

But Memorie was worst of all. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

234 North Country Poets. 

It seated Mind within the stocks, 

For meaner senses to deride ; 
It dashed high aims against the rocks, 

To sink beneath its swollen tide 
Of past defects, — and so they died. 

Frankenstein-like it did appal 
The bravest hearts, and many cried, 

" Ah ! Memorie is worst of all." 

And still, like Banquo's ghost, it mocks 
. All unto wickedness allied ; 
Like sword of Damocles it shocks, 

And happiness is yet denied ; 
Away it flieth, terrified, 

For what were sweets it turns to gall. 
Ah I of all curses at men's side 

Sure Memorie is worst of all. 

L' Envoi. 

Prince, from all evils thou mayst hide. 
Save one, which hath thee in its thrall ; 

With thee through life it will abide — 
'Tis Memorie, the worst of all. 


Ye jollie game wych alle creacyon lycks 

It is ye playe of kyckyng att foote-balle, 
And hym thatt playeth itt atween ye stycks 

Cartes he is ye chiefeste of y™ alle. 

Hys pate is lyke unto a stonie walle. 
And mightie bootes hath he wherewyth to lame ; 

Fulle mauie a foeman doth he roughlie maul, 
Yett foote-balle is a vehe jollie game. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Joseph Baron. 235 

And hym thatt playeth backe, wyth weightie kycks, 

And heavie charges, makynge foemen falle, 
Untylle ye watcher layeth tenn to syx 

Thatt he wyll cause ye left-wyng payr to spralle ; 

And eftsoones doth he make y™ to looke smalle 
Through heartilie projectynge of hys frame 

Upon ye twayne, soe they can scarcelie crawlle, 
Yett foote-balle is a verie jollie game. 

Alsoe ye forwarde, wyth an hondrede trycks 

(Oh, whenne he drybleth looke oute for a squalle I) 
He Cometh downe lyke to a ton of brycks, 

Although he seemeth soe exceedynge smalle ; 

And though hys foemen be uncommon talle 
He kycketh at theyr shynns wyth certayne aim 

(*' Takynge ye man/' methynkes they doe it calle), 
Yett foote-balle is a verie jollie game. 


Friendes, who delyte to idlie bragge and bralle, 
Ye who avowe thatt tennys is too tame, 

And lykewyse saye that cryckette lycks y™ alle, 
Yett foote-balle is a verie jollie game. 


As the fallen seed of a former flower, 

Blown and sown in the zephyr's play. 
Quickened and suckled by sun and shower, 

Buds and blossoms in one brief day ; 
Flaunts and flares in the noonday whiteness. 

Fades and dies ere the dews of night. 
Leaving no lingering love for its brightness. 

Lost to the mem'ry when lost to sight, 
So do the thoughts of a mushroom growth 

Decay and die as they leave the mouth. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

236 North Country Poets. 

Bat the acorn, deep in the dark earth lying, 

Is bursting its bonds in the bliss of birth ; 
Winter shall wane, and the spring be sighing, 

Ere a glimpse of its greenness glads the earth, 
And the far-off Future's ephemeral flowers 

Shall be bom to blossom, to fleet, and fade ; 
But the oak tree there,'^that so loftily towers, 

Shall shelter the weary beneath its shade, 
And a thought which has grown from experience 

Will shelter the weary centuries hence. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Sir Henry Taylor. 


Sir Henry Taylor. 


^ IB Henry Taylor, dramatist and essayist, was engaged in 
the Colonial Office, which he entered in January, 1824, 
for nearly fifty years, and so was brought into intimate 
personal contact with the leading statesmen and 
most distinguished men of the time. During a long public 
career of responsible duties, it was his lot to serve under 
no fewer than twenty-six Chief Secretaries. 

He was born at Middleham, in the county of 
Durham, in 1800, and was the only son of George Taylor, Esq., of Wilton 
Hall, Wilton-le-Wear. 

In 1827, he published ** Isaac Comnenus," a play founded on history, 
but of which little notice was taken. In 1834, appeared his " Philip van 
Artevelde," an historical romance, cast in dramatic and rythmical form. In 
two parts, it is the history of the two Arteveldes, father and son, " citizens 
of revolted Ghent, each of whom swayed for a season almost the whole 
power of Flanders against their legitimate prince, and each of whom, paid 
the penalty of ambition, by an untimely and violent death." This work 
at once and enduringly established his reputation as a poet. In this 
play occurs the oft-quoted line : — 

The world knows nothing of its greatest men. 
In 1836, appeared " The Statesman," a prose volume, containing views 
and maxims relating to the transaction of public business, suggested by 
his own experience of twelve years' official life in the Civil Service. His 
other works are " Edwin the Fair, an Historical Drama " in five acts and 
in verse, 1842 ; " The Eve of the Conquest, and other Poems," 1847 ; 
** Notes from Life, in Six Essays," 1847 (treating of such subjects as 
" Choice in Marriage," " Humility and Independence," •* The Life Poetic," 
and •* Children ") ; " Notes from Books, in Four Essays," 1849 (including 
an essay on " The Ways of the Bich and Great," and three others on 
"Modern Poets," re-printed from the Quarterly Review) \ "The Virgin 
Widow," a play in five acts, and chiefly verse, 1860 ; •• St. Clement's Eve," 
a play from French history during the period of Charles VI., 1862 ; a 
coUected edition of his " Poetical Works," in three volumes, 1863 ; *• A 
Sicilian Summer, and Minor Poems," 1868. Throughout these works 
the style of thought and diction is of a high order, characterised by 
severe simplicity, transparent purity, and pithy directness. His friend and 
fellow official. Sir James Stephen, in common with the highest critical 
authorities, frankly expressed the opinion that Taylor had established "a 
wide, an honest, and an enduring fame." 

" Philip van Artevelde", his greatest achievement, has gone through 
many editions, and all his other publications have been more or less 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

238 North Country Poets. 

saooesBfol. In 1877, his complete works, in verse and prose, appeared in 
a uniform series of six Tolames. 

He was made D.G.L. at Oxford ; and, in 1873, was created a Knight 
Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. He had long before 
married Lord Monteagle*B daughter, who still survives him. 

He was the life-long friend and correspondent of Wordsworth, and of 
Sir Aabrey de Yere ; and it was through Taylor that Wordsworth first 
became acquainted with Miss Fenwick. Southey said, Henry Taylor was 
the only one of a generation younger than his own whom he had taken 
into his heart of hearts ; and, for that reason, he appointed him his literary 

It was my valued privilege to correspond with Sir Henry, for many 
years, from the days when he lived at Mortlake, down to his last illness; 
and to receive from him valuable literary assistance in various researches 
connected with Gowper and Wordsworth. He kindly sent me the 1880 
edition of " Philip van Artevelde;*' wrote out one of his poems for me; and 
gave me a cabinet photograph of himself, by Hawker of Bournemouth, in- 
scribed with his autograph. I also possess the large splendid artistic 
venerable and patriarchal photograph of Sir Henry, taken in the Isle of 
Wight by his friend Mrs. Cameron. It was given me, however, not by him- 
self, but by Carlyle, who knew both him and Mrs. Cameron. In 1885, Sir 
Henry, knowing that the end could not be far ofiF, published his ** Autobio- 
graphy/' and also looked through his letters, marking those he deemed 
worthy of preservation. He also, about this time, wrote several articles for 
reviews ; one of these, a very noteworthy paper, was a sensible review of 
Froude*s work on Carlyle. For about a year, from increasing 
infirmity, he was unable to get out of doors, and, latterly, was confined 
entirely to his room, at " The Roost," Bournemouth. On March 29th, 
1886, he died, aged eighty- six. Professor Dowden has, this year (1888), 
edited and published a selection of his letters. These, and his other 
writings, forcibly convey the impression that Sir Henry Taylor was a man 
of sterling moral worth, intellectual power, sound wisdom, refined taste, 
and mature judgment ; a man of thought and scholarship ; and, more 
especially, a dramatic poet of great and peculiar ability, whose works, 
thoroughly English in character, have deservedly given him an enduring 
reputation among all thoughtful readers. He himself once asked, *' Who 
would not rather be read a hundred times by one man, than once by a 

Andrew James Symington. 


[From " Philip van Artevelde."] 

There is no game so desperate which wise men 
Will not take freely up for love of power, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Sir Henry Taylor. 239 

Or love of fame, or merely love of play. 
These men are wise, and then reputed wise, 
And so their great repute of wisdom grows, 
Till for great wisdom a great price is bid. 
And then their wisdom they do part withal. 
Such men must still be tempted with high stakes : 
Philip van Artevelde is such a man. 


[From " Philip van Artevelde."] 

I never looked that he should live so long. 

He was a man of that unsleeping spirit, 

He seemed to live by miracle : his food 

Was glory, which was poison to his mind, 

And peril to his body. He was one 

Of many thousand such that die betimes, 

"Whose story is a fragment, known to few ; 

Then comes the man who has the luck to live, 

And he's a prodigy. Weigh chance with chance. 

And deem there's ne'er a one in dangerous times 

Who wins the race of glory, but than him 

A thousand men more gloriously endowed 

Have fallen upon the course ; a thousand more 

Have had their fortunes by haphazard wreck'd, 

Whilst lighter barks push'd past them ; to whom add 

A smaller tally, of the singulajr few, 

Who, gifted with predominating powers, 

Bear yet a temperate will, and keep the peace. 

The world knows nothing of its greatest men. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

240 North Country Poets. 


[From " Philip van Artovelde.*' 

He that lacks time to mourn, lacks time to mind. 
Eternity mourns that. 'Tis an ill cure 
For life's worst ills, to have no time to feel them. 
Where sorrow's held intrusive and turned out, 
There wisdom will not enter, nor true power, 
Nor aught that dignifies humanity. 


[From " Philip van Artevelde*.*] 

Such souls, 
Whose sudden visitations daze the world. 
Vanish like lightning, but they leave behind 
A voice that in the distance fat away 
Wakens the slumbering ages. 


Near Hastings, 14th Oct., 1066. 
[From " The Eve of the Conquest."] 

Long was the day, and terrible. The cries 
Of " God to aid I '* " The Cross ! " *' The Holy Cross I ' 
With songs of Roland of Roncevalles, 
Were heard, then lost in dumbness and dismay. 
A mighty roar ensued, pierced through and through 
By shrillest shrieks incessant, or of man, 
Or maddened horse that scream'd vdth fear and pain 
Death agonies. The battle, like a ship 
Then when the whirlv^nd hath it, torn and tost, 
Btagger'd from side to side. The day was long ; 
* Now *' Battle." 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Sir Henry Taylor. 241 

By dreadful change of onset or feign'd flight, 
And rout and rally, direfully drawn out, 
Disastrous, dismal. Night was n^ar, and still 
The victory undetermined, when a shaft 
Pierced Harold in the throat. He fell and died. 
Then panic seized the Saxon host, pursued 
With hideous rage, till utter darkness hid 
From human sight the horrors of the field. 


[From " St. Clement's Eve."] 

De Vierzon To see grim John 

Do his endeavour at a gracious smile. 
Was worth a ducat ; with his trenchant teeth 
Clinched like a rat-trap. 

De Cassinel Ever and anon 

They open'd to let forth a troop of words 
Scented and gilt, a company of masques 
Stiff with brocade, and each a pot in hand 
Fiird with wasp's honey. 


[From " A Sicilian Summer."] 

I'm a bird that's free 
Of the land and sea, 

I wander whither I will ; 
But oft on the wing, 
I falter and sing, 

Oh, fluttering heart, be still. 
Be still. 

Oh, fluttering heart, be still. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

242 North Country Poets. 

I'm wild as the wind, 
But soft and kind, 

And wander whither I may ; 
The eye-bright sighs, 
And says with its eyes, 

Thou wandering wind, oh stay, 
Oh stay, 

Thou wandering wind, oh stay. 


[From " A Bioilian Summer."] 

Across the vale of life 
The rainbow rears its soft triumphal arch. 
And every roving path and brake and bower 
Is bathed in coloured light. Come what come may, 
I know this world is richer than I thought 
By something left to it from Paradise ; 
I know this world is brighter than I thought, 
Having a window into heaven. Henceforth, 
Life hath for me a purpose and a drift. 


[From " A Sicilian Summer."] 

Silisco' Then shall this glorious Now be crowned the Queen 
Of all the hours in ages past, 
Since the first Morning's rosy finger touched 
The bowers of Eden. Grace defend my heart 
That now it bound not back to what it was 
In days of old, forgetting all that since 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Sir Henry Taylor. 243 

Has tried and tamed it ! No, Eosalba, no — 
Albeit yon waves be bright as on the day 
When, dancing to the shore from Procida, 
They brought me a new joy, yet fear me not — 
The joy falls now upon a heart prepared 
By many a trouble, many a trial past. 
And striking root, shall flourish and stand fast. 


[From " Memorial Lines," which might not inaptly be 
applied to the Author himself. — A. J. S.] 

His life was private ; safely led, aloof 

From the loud world, which yet he understood 

Largely and wisely, as no worldling could. 

For he, by privilege of his nature, proof 

Against false glitter, from beneath the roof 

Of privacy, as from a cave, surveyed 

With steadfast eye its flickering light and shade. 

And gently judged for evil and for good. 

But, whilst he mixed not for his own behoof 

In public strife, his spirit glowed with zeal, 

Not shorn of action, for the public weal, — 

For truth and justice as its warp and woof, 

For freedom as its signature and seal. 

His life, thus sacred from the world, discharged 

From vain ambition and inordinate care. 

In virtue exercised, by reverence rare 

lifted, and by humility enlarged. 

Became a temple and a place of prayer. 

In latter years he walked not singly there ; 

For one was with him, ready at all hours 

His griefs, his joys, his inmost thoughts to share, 

Who buoyantly his burthens helped to bear. 

And decked his altars daily with fresh flowers. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

244 blorth Country Poets. 


[From '* Lago Lugano."] 

Be open, courteous, bland, 
Be Bimple, cordial, not more strong to stand 
Than just to yield, — nor obvious to each jar 
That shakes the proud ; for Independence walks 
With staid Humility aye hand in hand, 
Whilst Pride in tremor stalks. 


[From ** Alwine and Adelais."] 

With that, she sang a low, sweet melody. 
Mysterious but penetrating too. 
Which with a slow and subtle magic crept 
Into the bosom of the darkness. Soon 
It ceased, and as it ceased, a glorious light 
Forth from the bosom of the darkness burst. 
And filled the ways of life. 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 

George Lancaster. 


George Lancaster. 

\ EOBQE Lancaster was born at North Ferriby, near Hull, 
1846, but spent the greater part of his boyhood at Welton, 
renowned for its beautiful scenery. He served an appren- 
ticeship to the scholastic profession in Hull, and later 
laboured for some years in an iron-merchant's office in the 
same town. On the death of his employer he went to 
Ontario, Canada, where in the public schools of Camp- 
bellford and Bobcaygeon he took up his old occupation of 
teaching. In 1879, he returned to England, and edited with great success 
the satirical Hull Bellman. In the same year was published his first volume 
of poetry, under the title of "Lays and Lyrics," which met with favourable 
review. In 1883 he joined the literary staff of the Eastern Morning News, 
In 1888, he issued a second volume of poems, " Legends of Lowgate," which 
has drawn the attention of the critical press. 

George Lancaster is a school of poetry to himself. There is no living 
writer to-day who gives looser rein to his fanciful pen, his erratic muse 
often leading him into a wild fandango of comic nonsense-verse, and as 
often into a rich maze of word-colouring that glows upon the imagination 
like a bizarre but gloriously-colored arabesque. A great part of this effect 
lies in his facility in rhyme. He seems to take a master's delight in 
starting difficulties, merely to overcome them. He pitches upon some out- 
of-the-way term, phrase, or name with which to finish his line, apparently 
without a rhyme in the world of words to fit it — and then comes jingle- 
jangling up with an apt word that in the very unexpectedness of its sound 
is a joke. Thus the ear is captivated, and though the composition from the 
beginning may be devoid of seriousness or probability, we read it to the end 
with pleasure. We may challenge his too constant want of dignity and 
serious purpose, but his chief aim seems to be to provide popular fun. Yet it 
must by no means be supposed that his scintillating l^rilliancy of word- 
choice is his highest quality. The catching swing of his style, and the odd 
use of the most florid expedients of poetic language, never shew to greater 
advantage than when clothing a worthy subject ; and not a few of his poems 
might be quoted in which the language, like a barbaric (nay, even sometimes 
barbarous) gold setting, shews up a pure gem of poetry with a lustre that a 
more conventional treatment would fail to equal. The poet often adopts 
the terrible, but is true enough to life to mingle it with the ludicrous and 
common. Thus we laugh with him at his introduction of the mystic, and 
his trampling upon the artificial rules which divide the poetic from the 
prosaic, yet, at the same time we cannot deny that his use of the weird, 
much as we affect to despise it, has a due effect upon us. His " Terrible 
Tale of a Tragedy," absurdly improbable, ludicrously framed, and packed 
with impossible horrors as it is, affects us with sentiments that could, upon 
ordinary considerations, only be inspired by the loftiest strain of the 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

246 North Country Poets. 

laareatio mose. Of coarse this is only to be fully explained by the cnriovs 
torn of the individaality of the poet ; bat a partial reason is to be found in 
the fact that some of his most gorgeous and eccentric pieces have the steel 
core of a truth, a moral, or a sentiment. Often, too, the commonplaces of 
life are scornfully dilated upon with repelling minuteness, when lo ! the 
sunbeam of a poetic thought touches the dewy edge of some flower-petal of 
poetry — the burlesque wanes, and we acknowledge the poet. 

Not a few of his compositions are in a pseudo old-English that gives 
a kind of antique scumble to the effect. Even in strictly dialect pieces his 
command of words is as remarkable as in those of more classic mould. 

It is no detriment to Mr. Lancaster to say that a comic opera — or, 
failing that, a pantomime — from him, would be intensely enjoyable, for his 
muse shines in houffe ; at the same time there is no subject, be it the 
aspirations of a people, or the highest hopes and experiences of a soul, in 
which his fertile genius has not power to point fresh views and re-impress 
old truths. The following examples are taken from "Legends of Lowgate." 



'Twas a case which happened in court ; the prisoner's name was 

She was charged with stealing a couple of geese from Mr. Hare's 

There was a large and gaping crowd in the gallery's upper space, 
And the magistrate cried, ** Silence, there! Now, farmer, state 

your case." 

** Well, your woshupp, it's not the fost time that I've been 

robbed of geese, 
I fed 'em for Christmas market, and they're worth twelve shillings 

I counted 'em three times ower, and there was just fifty-one, 
And then fost thing in the morning, I found that a couple had 

There was feathers upon the pumpston, where the thief or thieves 

had sat. 
There was blood on the barnyard cobbles, and blood on the 

staggarth yat, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

George Lancaster. 247 

There was blood on the foadgarth causey, two hundred foot or 

And blood all up the village flags, right away to the prisoner's 

We found 'em in the prisoner's house, and then she'd the cheek 

to say, 
That the Lord had sent 'em to her, but she didn't know what 

I've heerd a deal o' canting talk, but that was a stroke ower 

And my missus said, ' 111 take my jerry if that doesn't beat the 

Dutch.' " 

* • • 'i • • • 

** Well, never mind what your missus said, for that's no 

His worship growled, ** and now let's hear the prisoner's defence." 
* * « « « « * 

** Well, your Worship, I'm a poor lone widow, a- washing early 

and late. 
To keep my two little children from out of the workus gate, 
An the baby's very sickly, which they call him little Jim, 
But Benny can eat pretty hearty, which there's nothing the 

matter with him. 
An I'll just tell you all about it, I'll keep back nothing at all. 
An how it was that them two geese was hung on my pantry wall. 
I'd been working extra hard that night, as I'll leave it to you to 

When I'd twenty-five white shirts in the starch, as was wanted 

on Christmas day, 
An everything seemed awkard like, for the irons did nothing but 

An I was that put out o' patience, I wished 'em all to Old Nick. 
An they just seemed to get more awkard, the more I seemed to 

Till at last I had to sit me down and have a real good cry. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

248 North Country Poets. 

An then my poor little Benny, he makes no more to do, 

But he said as he came to kiss me, ' Mammy, what's the matter 

wiv 00? 
I'll pray for 00 to Jesus, an I'll tell 00 what I sail say, 
I'll ask him to send 00 a nice fat doose for dinner on Tissmus 

So don't try any more mammy, or else Jesus will be tross, 
An I'll ask him to send 00 a nice fat doose, an baby a nice big 


Well, I didn't take mnch notice then of what the poor laddie said. 
But I kissed him and told him to say his prayers, and then he 

might go to bed. 
So he made no more to do, but he just knelt down at my knees, 
An he says " Peas Jesus, send mammy a nice fat doose, do peas. 
Mammy's trying all about pappa, but peas Jesus don't be tross. 
An peas send mammy a nice fat doose, and baby a nice big hoss. 
Pappa's dead and don to Heaven, tause Jesus sent him to 

An baby's very poorly, an I'm tix and doin o' teven. 
An mammy's trying for pappa, but peas Jesus don't be tross. 
But peas send mammy a nice fat doose, and baby a nice big hoss. 
An Jesus, 00 needn't send me one, tause dat would be no use. 
But if 00 sends one to mammy, she'll dimme a bit of her doose, 
An peas make baby better, and I'm tix and doin o' teven. 
An make Benny a dood boy, and take him to pappa in Heaven. 
An mammy she can't help trying about pappa now an den. 
But peas send mammy a nice fat doose, Jesus Trist sake. Amen." 

Well, your Worship, I put him to bed as soon as he'd said his 

An then I began of my work again as soon as I came down stairs. 
An it seemed to slip out 0' me mind, and I gave it a thought no 

Till all of a sudden I was startled by a thundering knock at the 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 

George Lancaster. 249 

There wasn't a soul to be seen when I opened the door and 

looked round, 
But there, as dead as two door nails, were a couple of geese on 

the ground. 
I thought they'd been sent by Jesus in answer to poor little Ben, 
So I fell on my bended knees, and I thanked Him there and then. 
An that's the truth, your Worship. Me steal 'em ? God forbid ! 
For if Jesus didn't send 'em, I'm sure I don't know who did. 
You can send me to jail, your worship, my conscience will be 

The Lord knows I didn't steal 'em, so I don't feel any fear." 

His Worship took a pinch of snuff, and kind o' shook his head, 
And was just a-going to say, ** Six Months," when a man in the 

courthouse said : — 

If you'll just let me speak a word, your Worship, I think I can 

throw some light 
On this here case. I was out with a pal on a bit of a spree that 

We'd been up to farmer Barchard's, and he took out a bottle o' gin. 
And presently after he took it out, we very soon took it in. 
And then we'd a few drops o' rum, and lastly a noggin o' whisky. 
And so when we started for home, we both felt a little bit frisky. 
We were full of our pranks all the way, for the drink had got 

into our heads, 
And we knocked several parties up, that were safe and sound in 

their beds. 
And then when they put their heads out to see what we were 

We laughed and pelted 'em well with handfuls of mud and water. 
Then as we passed by the widow's, I heard a voice in the house. 
And I stood at the window and listened, as still and as whisht as 

a mouse, 
When I heard a little lad praying, (Peas Jesus don't be tross. 
But peas send mammy a nice fat doose and baby a nice big boss.) 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

250 North Country Poets. 

So we thought it would be a good lark, to go to old farmer Hare's, 
And sneak out one or two of his geese, to answer the wee laddie's 

I And that's how they came to be there, I'm willing to pay for 'em 

And all the costs as well, to get her out of her trouble." 

* * * * i.': * * 

His Worship said, " I'm bound to remark, my view of the case is 

I'll attend to you by and bye, sir. Prisoner ! you are discharged." 


Oh, why is the Humber soe dysmal and browne. 

As ytte flowes past ye harboures of Kyngstone old town ? 

Oh, why doe yttes waters so ceaselessly sighe. 

As they passe ye wide archbowes of Hesslegate bye ? 

By gossipes of olde, 'tis a tale that is tolde, 

Of a maiden so faire and a lover soe bolde ; 

Of a maiden soe faire who was clycked from ye tyde, 

Of a lover so bolde who despairingly dyed. 

No peaches or blush-pynkes that growe on ye tree. 
Were ever so blooming or viewlie as she ; 
No columbine brantled soe proude on yttes stalke, 
As Matilda, ye pryde of ye Belle Towre Walke. 

So dimber her forme and so sparkysh her tongue. 
She was praysed by ye olde and beloved by ye younge. 
And alle were conceited to wende or toe talke 
With Matilda ye pryde of ye Belle Towre Walke. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

George Lancaster, 251 

They knew that her feyther, though granky and gruffe, 

With plenty of housen, and acres, and stufife, 

Of kyth and of kyndred was left alle alone, 

Save Matilda, on whom alle his wealth toe dispone. 

Toe his daughter alone he was gentle and kinde. 
Toe her and his drugshoppe he gave all his minde. 
And there alle ye daie long he moggled and growled 
Toe dower his daughter with sylver and golde. 

Of suitors and gallants she drewe suche a crowde, 
That Matilda with worshippe grew deynous and proude, 
And she bade them toe live or condemned them toe die, 
With a smile from her lyppes or a frowne from her eye. 

One daie when she thwarted ye Humberts broad ponde, 
Toe see her faire cousins in Barton beyonde, 
Such a number of gallants went over toe ryde, 
That ye ferrie-boate laboured and sagged in ye tyde. 

Such sadde disappointmente amongst them that daie, 
Her feyther was there, and he kept them at baie, 
But she bade them to hope or condemned them to sighe, 
With a smile from her lyppes or a frowne from her eye. 

They had not gone far from ye Hesslegate syde, 
When ye ferrie-boate loppered and lurched in ye tide, 
And afore her weak feyther could catch her toe save, 
Matilda was carried away bye ye wave. 

Then gan alle ye gallants toe chitter and chelp, 
Ye ranty olde feyther roared loudly for helpe, 
** Whoever amongste you shall save her deare life. 
Shall have halfe my fortune and her for a wife." 

Up sprange Roger Grene. Not a moment to lose, 
He dashed downe his bonnet and kycked off his shoes. 
One leape from ye decke like a flashyt of light, 
And after ye maiden he dived out of sighte. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

252 North Country Poets. 

One stroke from his armes that were steady and brayve, 
He ba.8 broughte her again to the toppe of ye wave. 
** Yes, she breathes ! She is safe ! Boger Grene my brave boie 
You have won her for wife," — shouts ye feyther with joie. 

Not one of ye other feyn gallants coude swim, 

With rage and with envie they gazed after him, 

Till they saw his strong arme rounde her beautiful necke, 

And watched him deposit her safelie on decke. 

The gratefulle olde feyther moste joyfully cryed, 

And kissed her pale cheekes as he knelt at her syde. 

" Matilda ! My daughter ! I gave you for wife 

Toe ye brayve Eoger Grene who has saved your deare life." 

She looked up toe smile, while brayve Roger stood bye 
Toe see her revive and toe catche her replie. 
He was brayve, but he hadde not much beauty or grace, 
And ye dints of ye smallpoxxe were deep in his face. 

** My feyther, I thank him for saving my life, 

But you should not have promised to make me his wife. 

My husband at leaste must be fitte to be seene. 

And I never can marry with brayve Roger Grene." 

** Farewell then,*' cried Roger, in accents of woe, 
" Your heart is more colde than ye waters belowe. 
Disdeyned by ye maiden I struggled toe save, 
I'll come to your bridal from oute ye colde wave." 

As he leapt in ye water and sank like a stone. 
Great bubbles arose with a gurgling grone, 
Blacke mud-cloudes rolled up like ye fogs of ye nighte, 
And hid ye brayve Roger for ever from sighte. 

And ye waves which were clear as brayve Roger wente downe, 
Have ever since then risen dysmal and browne, 
And 'tis said that ye waters still gurgle and sighe, 
As they passe ye wide archbowes of Hesslegate bye. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

George Lancaster. 


Matilda was wedded within a shorte spayce, 
Toe a spruce-looking gallant of title and grace, 
And there came to ye wedding feaste, soe it is said, 
A figure of seeming most nauseous and dread. 

His forme was alle dripping with slime and with ooze, 
Black sea-serpentes crawled down his legges toe his shoes, 
While aspicks and eeles of a horryble size 
Crawled in atte his ears, and crawled oute atte his eyes. 

Huge crayfishes stucke oute their homes from his cheste, 
Grene seaweed grewe long on his hands and his bresfce. 
And he cried from a mouthe of a cavernous mien, — 
" Disdeynful Matilda, beholde Eoger Grene." 

Ye guests at ye wedding feaste fled with dismaie, 
Matilda was borne shrieking loudlie awaie. 
Ere morning pale deathe had despoyled her of charmes, 
And ye bridegroome had clasped a dead bride in his armes. 

They mayde her a grave in olde Trinitie's fayne, 
And the dowlie olde feyther was smytten with payne 
When his darling Matilda hadde left him alone, 
So he tolde them toe carve her a statue of stone. 

On cushions of marble her colde heade did reste, 
With handes in a passion of prayre on her breste, 
As if she woude pardone bye penitence winne, 
For ye measurelesse depth of her pryde and her sinne. 

And ofte when ye even was synking in gloome 
He woude whymper and whine at ye syde of her toombe, 
And thinke that he sawe, in the statue's cold stayre, 
A glympse of his daughter whoe once was soe faire. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

254 North Country Poets. 


Dear Nellie, I set sail to-morrow, 

The world and its wonders to view, 
But the bitterest drop in my sorrow 

Is to think that I'm parting with you. 
My heart is all yours, dearest Nell ; 

And the last time we went to the Minster 
I told you — I mind it quite well — 

That you shouldn't be always a spinster. 

My sweetheart I my spouse I may call thee ; 

I'll come back to claim thee my bride, 
And if aught that is evil befall thee, 

ril lie in the grave at thy side. 
E'en Death should not shatter our plight, 

We would still be a bride and a groom ; 
Our wedding should still be in white, 

And our honeymoon down in the tomb. 

Oh, why were such warring emotions 

Implanted in one human heart ? 
Such jarring and clashing devotions 

As rend soul and body apart ? 
With mingled delight and repining 

My storm-beaten bosom is full. 
And my heart is for ever declining 

To stay with my bovdy in Hull. 

And why ? 'Tis no longer my own. 

'Tis with thee wheresoever I haste ; 
In the crowds of the busiest town. 

In the depths of the solemnest waste. 
In the forest primeval and savage. 

In the uttermost isles of the sea. 
Which the winds and the waters may ravage, 

My heart will be ever with thee. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

George Lancaster. 255 

And what shall I bring for thy bridal ? 

The crown of an African Queen, 
The spoils of an Indian idol, 

Or pearls from the Bight of Benin ? 
No ; — scornful I know thou would'st toss 'em, 

Far better I know what to bring — 
A wreath of the pure orange blossom, 

A piece of pure gold for a ring. 

When I gaze on the inflowing Humber, 

As softly the Southend he laves, 
I scarcely could tell you the number 

Of kisses I cast on his waves. 
0, River, I charge thee, convey them 

As far as the mouth of the Ouse, 
And tell him to faithfully pay them 

At York, to my desolate spouse. 

My parents, — I*m sorry to grieve 'em. 

Their pressure was meant for the best, 
It's rending my heartstrings to leave 'em. 

But law is a trade I detest. 
Do, Nellie, go down, there's a beauty — 

You know where they live up in Bootham — 
And give 'em my love and my duty. 

And say something gentle to soothe 'em. 

I can't be a lawyer. The notion 

Is simply abhorrent to me. 
No I give me a life on the ocean 

Where I can be happy and free. 
Old Ocean ! thy sunshiny ripples 

To me are a depth of delight. 
It is only a calling for cripples 

To sit in an office and write. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

2c6 North Country Poets. 

What ! be a professional liar ? 

To plunder, to cheat, to beguile. 
To make fees mount higher and higher, 

To rob with respectable smile ; 
To study fine speech and persuasion, 

To screen wealthy rogues at a high rate, 
To glory in trick and evasion ? 

No !— rather a candid old pirate. 

The wild goat skips round on the mountain, 

The petrel flies out on the main. 
The goldfish leaps up in the fountain, 

The lion bounds over the plain, 
The flocks feed in sweet-smelling valleys, 

But where shall we look for the men ? 
In dark-reeking cities and alleys, 

With cash-book, and ledger, and pen. 

I love all the brooks and the rivers 

Because they go down to the sea. 
Old Humber ! thy gates are the givers 

Of freedom and glory to me. 
Oh, bear me to climes where God's creatures 

Have only God's law to obey, 
With justice and truth for its features, 

Without either fee or delay. 

Last night I was dreaming a vision. 

We dwelt on a beautiful isle, 
And round us the landscape Elysian 

Was spread in the sun's brightest smile. 
Bare flowers in the forest were blushing, 

Bich fruits bent the boughs on the trees, 
And musical rivers were rushing 

O'er coraline rocks to the seas. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

George Lancaster. 


The mocking-bird sang in the myrtles, 

The turtle dove coo'd on the palms, 
And sea-swans were sporting with turtles, 

Without any fears or alarms. 
There were love-birds — most sweet little lispers — 

Each pluming and kissing his brother, 
And butterflies carrying whispers 

Of love from one rose to another. 

Together we dwelt in a cottage 

Embowered with creeper and vine ; 
We gathered ripe fruits for our pottage. 

And crushed the sweet grapes for our wine. 
Our flocks in the valleys were bleating, 

And Love was the crown of my life. 
For graces and virtues were meeting 

In thee as companion and wife. 

Can Fate have such gifts in her giving ? 

Or will she present me a stone ? 
Perhaps I am doomed to be living 

On such a fair island alone. 
The summits of hope, as it seems. 

Can seldom by mortals be mounted. 
And Fate only grants us our dreams 

With the best of the blessings discounted. 

But my candle is sinking the gloom in, 

The watchman is calling the hour. 
And midnight is solemnly booming 

From old Holy Trinity's tower. 
He speaks like a prophet of sorrow. 

Perhaps I may heed him too late. 
Good-bye dearest Nellie. To-morrow 

I go forth to wrestle with Fate. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

258 North Country Poets, 

Rev. Robert W. Elliot, M.A. 

poet was born at Hull, the 26th day of February, 1829. 

3 was originally intended for the medical profession, 

d indeed studied for that purpose two years, but after- 

brds was led to change his plans. His bent was 

ivards the ministry of the Church of England, and with 

dew of preparing for the important office placed himself 

der the care of the Rev. J. E. Bromby, D.D., as tutor, 

d subsequently under that of the Rev. C. H. Bromby, 

D.D. These gentlemen were sons of the Rev. J. Bromby, for many 

years the beloved and highly respected Vicar of Holy Trinity Church, 

Hull. He became a member of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and in 

due course took the degree of B.A. in 1853, and that of M.A. in 1856. 

In 1853 he married the eldest daughter of the late Captain 
Roach, of Hull. In 1857 the Archbishop of York ordained him a deacon, 
and appointed him in the same year to the curacy of Etton, near Beverley, 
the Rev. Canon Musgrave, nephew of the Archbishop, at that time being 
Rector. At the expiration of a little more than a year he was induced to 
become assistant to the Rev. C. Hodgson, M.A., then District Secretary of 
the Church Missionary Society in Yorkshire. It was intended that Mr. 
Elliot should succeed Mr. Hodgson as Secretary, but he found the duties 
of the office beyond his strength, and was compelled to relinquish the post. 
After a year's work as Curate in Charge of the Parish of Sewerby, in 
the East Riding of Yorkshire, he accepted the Curacy of St. Leonard's, 
Malton. The Vicar, the Rev. G. P. Cordeux, M.A., resigned in 1863, 
owing to ill health. So favourable was the impression made by Mr. Elliot 
during his short curacy that on a petition being presented, signed by the 
principal parishioners, the patron of the living, Earl Fitzwilliam, appointed 
him as Mr. Cordeux's successor. Mr. Elliot is liberal in his views, but 
has no sympathy with any extremes that have a tendency to nullify the 
great work of the Reformation. 

In literary matters Mr. Elliot very early tried his apprentice hand. 
His first effort was sent to the Family Herald^ and he had the 
pleasure of finding his *' Flowers enigmatically expressed " inserted 
in the next number of that paper. His pen has been active ever 
since. In 1854-5, at the suggestion of the editor of the Hull Advertiser, Mr. 
Collins, he wrote a series of articles on popular subjects, which attracted 
the attention and received the approbation of Mr. James Clay, M.P. for 
Hull. Mr. Elliot was a contributor to the Hull Packet for two years ; and 
when the idea of a Free Library in the town was first mooted he wrote 
the leading article which appeared in that paper after the first meeting. 
Contributions from his pen were also frequently to be found in Notes and 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Rev. Robert W. Elliot, M.A. 


In 1854 he published a volume of "Sonnets on Various Subjects," 
which was very favourably received by the press ; also, in the same year, 
appeared the '* Battle of Inkermann,** the first edition being sold on the day of 
issue, as well as an ** Ode on the Queen's Visit to Hull." " A Day's Reverie 
in Westminster Abbey," published in 1859, in *♦ Titan," was very favourably 
noticed by the press. Much poetry and prose by Mr. Elliot has from time 
to time appeared in London Society, Hull Christmas Annual, Shiptcrecked 
Mariners* Magazine, Athencmim, Illustrated London Netos, Bristol Times, the 
leading Yorkshire newspapers, and numerous periodicals. He has also 
printed in the Malton Gazette a series of articles headed " Antiquarian 
Notes and Foot Notes," dealing with such subjects as ** Lantern Towers," 
"Curious Bequests," "Fortified Churches," "Briefs," "Place-Names," 
" Fairs," " Markets," " Chantries," and " Church Ales." In the same 
paper he has issued, with a running comment on all important facts, the 
most interesting entries in the Parish Registers of St. Leonard's, Malton, 
and Norton. 

As Vicar of the parish of St. Leonard's for 25 years, by the faithful 
discharge of his ministerial duties and his willingness to assist in other 
departments of public life, he has endeared himself to the people of Malton. 
As Chairman of the Debating Club connected with the Literary Institute, 
Vice-President of the Malton Field Naturalists' Society, and in other ways, 
he has exerted himself to advance the intellectaal and scientific culture of 
the rising generation in this pleasant Yorkshire town. 

»ToHN H. Leggott. 


The roses were red in the gardens of summer, 
That gladden the valleys old Yorkshire enfolds, 

The brooks and the woodlands were joyful with music, 
The harvest was ripening afar on the wolds. 

Softly the breeze o'er the Humber's wave winging, 
Breathed with sea breath over steeple and street, 

High in blue heaven the sky-lark was soaring. 
Morning's first sun-smile with worship to greet. 

Vessels with white sails were thronging the river. 
Freighted with goods from all parts of the world. 

Swiftly and gaily approaching the harbour, 
Each with the flag of its nation unfurled. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

26o North Country Poets. 

All through the town eyes were turned to the steeple, 
Lifted in grandeur o'er God's House on high, 

Hitherto silent in gloom and in sunshine, 

Soon with sweet music to peal through the sky. 

Shrined 'neath its battlements, olden and fretted, 
Hung the eight bells, all awaiting the time 

When sturdy hands in quick order should raise them, 
To speak to the world with their voices sublime. 

At length the longed-for moment came, 
And forth they burst with wild acclaim : — 
Forth they went through the windows wide, 
Over the Humberts flowing tide ; 
Forth they went over mart and street 
Alive with cheers and throng'd with feet ; 
Forth they went over stately hall. 
Sacred fane and cottage small ; 
Forth they went over gardens fair. 
Bright with blossoms sweet and rare ; 
Forth they went over fort and tower, 
Lofty tree and trellised bower ; 
Forth they went to the distant fields, 
Rich in grain the harvest yields ; 
Forth they went over scenes of joy. 
And others dark with grief's alloy ; 
Forth they went till the stars shone bright, 
And pierced the silent gloom of night ; 
A glorious choir, they their anthem sung. 
Their birth-day anthem— and it flung 
To the breezes, to tell to young and old 
The truths their sounding tones unfold 
Of the joys and griefs that all hearts feel, 
As men's lives pass through woe or weal, 
Seeking through sunshine or sorrow's gloom. 
Their way to peace beyond the tomb. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Rev. Robert W. Elliot, M.A. 261 


*» When the Children are Asleep."— TAo«. Faed, R.A. 

Two lovely babes lie wrapt in sleep's repose, 
With golden hair across their foreheads thrown, 
Their cheeks are sweet as roses newly blown, 

And their small hands as white as Alpine snows. 

No cares of life as yet have touched their hearts, 
No tears of grief have dimmed their soft blue eyes, 
Their dreams are bright as cloudless summer skies. 

And joy to them its purest bliss imparts. 

Hushed silence reigns beside their little bed, 
The kitten rests in sleep from playful mirth, 
The faggots brightly burn upon the hearth, 

And light with gleams the rafters overhead. 

The Highland mother, knitting, watches near. 

Oft glances, listening, towards the rude latched door. 
For her babes' father, coming o'er the moor 

Through storm of blast and snow, with anxious fear. 


Downy seeds of thistles drifting lay like snow flakes on the moor. 
With a wild and solemn music moaned the wind against the door ; 
From the shieling's thatch dripped noiselessly the lush abundant 

Bright and greenly in the sunset's gleam came out each lichen stain. 

Long we watched the taper glimmer from the sorrow darkened room. 
Till the stars shone out above us and it faded in the gloom. 
Till the blossom of the furzes lighted not the scene around. 
And the night in robes of sables clad the dreary waste of ground. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

262 North Country Poets. 

Soon the storm passed into silence, and all things of life were still, 
Save the utterance, never ceasing, of the spring-fed moorland rill ; 
As we trod with silent voices, thinking thoughts we could not say 
Of the dark and fearful sorrow that had marred a bridal day. 

Oh ! the joy-smiles of the morning. Oh 1 how bright the festive 

scene ; 
Oh I how fair and sweet the maiden in her dress as white as sheen ; 
Oh ! the blush of hidden feelings warmly burning in her cheek ; 
Oh ! the glances rich in meaning words were powerless to speak. 

But alas ! the happy bridegroom scarcely kissed her as his bride. 
Ere death's cold, destructive finger touched her life-blood's flowing 

tide ; 
And her head lay on his bosom, as she dying breathed farewell ; 
And the marriage peal ceased ringing, to give place to passing bell ! 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Mrs. Susan K. Phillips. 263 

Mrs. Susan K. Phillips. 

T Yorkshire's long roll of famous singers, Mrs. 
K. Phillips takes high rank. She was horn in 
t Aldborough, near Boroughbridge, of which place 
her, the Bev. George Kelly Holdsworth, was Vicar. 
5, nine years after her marriage with Mr. Henry 
lam Phillips, the artist, she published her first 
! of poems under the title of '' Verses and Ballads,'' 
was followed in 1870 and 1878 respectively by 
"Yorkshire Songs and Ballads" and "On the Seaboard," and still later 
by " Told in a Coble " (1884). Mrs. Phillips has contributed to several of 
the leading magazines, such as MacmillaUy Belgravia^ Time, All the Year 
Round J Tinsley% GasselW, Ac. Many of her verses, in fact most of them, deal 
with various incidents in the lives of the sea coast people of Yorkshire. At 
Whitby she is well-known and highly respected by the rough but kindly- 
hearted fishermen, to whom she has been a friend during the dark days 
of suffering and hardship which not unfrequently fall to their lot. The 
pathos and mystery of the sea has been the theme of poets for long ages. 
Its vastness and loneliness, and the dread sense of mighty uncontrollable 
power, have affected the character of those who live on its bosom and watch 
by its shores. To them the sound of the sea in calm weather is not as the 
ripple of a child, but rather as the purring of a crouching tiger. This is 
how Mrs. Phillips in her poem *' On the Seaboard," describes this 

influence :- - 

We live our lives, who on the seaboard dwell, 
Li/es face to face with peril, death and heaven ; 
The strong sad sea in its eternal swell 
Something of strong sad fellowship has given ; 
Stern as its tempest, solemn as its roar, 
Keen, true and frank as sunlight on its breast, 
Its signet stamps their souls, who on the shore 
Dare, love, and labour ; die, and sleep in rest. 

In the short and simple annals of the poor, Mrs. Phillips has found a 
worthy theme, which is made all the finer by the grace and power of her 
verses. Tales of heroic deeds, done by obscure men in the darkness and 
storm of winter nights, are told with a simple force and directness which 
enchant the reader. Not once, but many times, have brave fishermen 
given to their comrades the oar or buoy on which depended their only 
chance of salvation amongst the roaring breakers. Such a story is enshrined 
in the poem "Me and My Mate." The announcement of such and such 
a ship being lost with all hands is not an unf requent one in the newspapers. 
To realise the awful meaning of such a paragraph to the wives and friends 
of those who go down to the sea in ships, Mrs. Phillips's fine poem entitled, 
" Lost with all hands," will help many a sympathetic reader. 

It is, however, not always of the sea folk that Mrs. Phillips sings. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


North Country Poets. 

Her Bympathies are wide enongh to embrace human life in many 
states. It is generally the human interest that attracts her attention, 
whatever may be the subject of her poems. The breezy moor, the 
glittering sunlight, the restless ocean, are all subservient in her 
work to the sympathy and feeling which illuminate the incidents of 
every day life from year to year. *• Two" is the title of a poem full of 
pathos showing the beginning and ending of two lives in different circum- 
stances. One was reared in luxury and wealth, the other in squalor and 
poverty. The contrast is a sorrowful one, and full of pity. Truly " the 
riddle is hard to read " the smooth verses tell us, but without any 
unnecessary bitterness. In '* The Buried Chime," whose cadences ripple 
like a peal of far-off bells, Mrs. Phillips tells the story of a local tradition 
relating to the loss of the bells intended for the Abbey of St. Hilda, a 
famous North Country Shrine in the Middle Ages, the ruins of which now 
crown the Head overlooking Whitby Bay. When first published in one 
of the magazines some years ago, it was spoken of in terms of the highest 
praise by lovers of musical rhythm, and it was copied very extensively into 
newspapers and journals of the period. 

All Mrs. Phillips* verses are characterized by a perfect finish, as if the 
lines had been touched and retouched until they shone like jewels. They 
have thus an interest for the student of literature, as well as appealing to 
the larger class who are touched by her tender and delicate delineations of 
life and character, and her setting of many a beautiful story and legend old. 

Andrew Gbbamb. 


Under the cliffs at Whitby, when the great tides landward flow, 
Under the cliffs at Whitby, when the great winds landward 

When the long billows heavily roll o'er the harbour bar, 
And the blue waves flash to silver 'mid the seaweeds on the 

When the loud thunder of the surf calls down the hollow shore, 
And 'mid the caves at Kettleness, the baffled breakers roar ; 

Under the cliffs at Whitby, who so will stand alone. 
Where in the shadow of the Nab the eddies swirl and moan. 

When to the pulses of the deep, the flood-tide rising swells, 
Will hear amid its monotone, the clash of hidden bells. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Mrs. Susan K. Phillips. 265 

Up from the heart of ocean the mellow music peals, 
Where the sunlight makes his golden path, and the sea-mew 
flits and wheels. 

For many a chequered century, untired by flying time, 
The bells, no human fingers touch, have rung their hidden 

Since the gallant ship that brought them, for the abbey on the 

Struck and foundered in the ofling, with her sacred goal in 


And the man who dares on Hallowe'en on the black Nab to 

Till the rose-light on St. Hilda's shrine the midnight moonbeams 


And calls his sweetheart by her name, as o'er the sleeping seas, 
The echo of the buried bells comes floating on the breeze, 

Ere another moon on Hallowe'en her eerie rays has shed. 
Will hear his wedding peal ring out from the church-tower on 
the Head. 


A Whitby Story. 

Mates ? ay, we've been mates together 
These three-score years and more : 

Lord, how we used to lake and cuff 
In't caves down there on t'shore ! 

Will, he were as bad as orphaned. 
His father were drowned at sea, 

And his mother, poor fond dateless soul, 
Gould do naught with such as he. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

266 North Country Poets. 

So my father, as were a kindly man, 
Though slow in his speech and stern, 

Sent us both off to the whalery, 
Our bit and sup to earn. 

And we were mates in the cold and the toil, 

And mates o'er the cheery glass, 
Till we parted, as better men have done, 

For we'd words about a lass. 

Poor Nance ! — her red lips and bright blue eyes. 
And her smiles for one and another, 

I wot those pretty ways of hers 

Game betwixt us, friend and brother. 

And she wouldn't have neither him nor me. 

But took up with an inland chap. 
As daren't step in a boat nor haul a rope ; 

But he'd brass — we hadn't a rap. 

Still, for all we heard her wedding-bells. 

Changed blows are bitter coin : 
We're hard to part, we Yorkshire folk, 

But we're harder yet to join. 

Well, it were dree work to meet on t* pier. 

Nor once '* Well, mate " to say ; 
And one to start with the lifeboat crew. 

And the other to turn away. 

To go alone for the Sunday walk. 

To smoke one's pipe alone ; 
For while we shunn'd each other like. 

We'd go with never a one. 

Only when the herring got agate, 

And the lobster pots were set, 
We were partners in the Nance, you see. 

So we went together yet. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Mrs. Susan K. Phillips, 267 

Together, but never a word we spoke ; 

Out on the dancing waves, 
Under sunlight, or moonlight, or great white stars. 

As silent as men in their graves. 

I tell you, we've sate as sullen as aught. 

One at t' sheet and one at t' helm. 
Till the very ripples seemed to call, 

** Shame ! shame I " in the sound of them. 

Silent we pulled the fish aboard, 

Silent we turned her head, 
And steered her home, and leaped ashore. 

And never a word we said. 

The very bairns stood back afeard. 

As we came glooming in ; 
And ever and aye I knew my heart * 

Qrew heavier in its sin. 

One day the sky showed coarse and wild. 

And the wind kept shifting like. 
As a man that has planned a murder, 

And doesn't know where to strike. 

" Best stay ashore and leave the pots. 

There's mischief brewing there ; " 
So spoke old Sam as could read the clouds ; 

But I had an oath to swear. 

And I muttered : " Cowards might bide at home," 

As I glanced at Will the while ; 
And he swung himself aboard the Nance, 

With one queer quiet smile. 

Out ran the rope — up went the sail — 

She shot across the bar. 
And flew like a bird right through the surf, 

As was whitening all the Scar. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

268 North Country Poets. 

We reached the pots, and Will stretched out 

To draw the bladder near ; 
I looked astern, and there well-nigh broke 

From my lips a cry of fear. 

For, flying over the crested wave. 

Terrible, swift, and black, 
I saw the squall come sweeping on ; 

All round us closed the wrack. 

The boat heeled over to the blast. 

The thunder filled the air. 
Great seas came crashing over us ; 

Scarce time to think a prayer. 

But 'mid the foam that blinded us. 

And the turmoil of the sea, 
I saw Will seize the bladder up 

And heave it right to me. 

Can you understand, you landsmen ? 

It was all the chance he had ; 
Ay, thou mayst growl thy fill out there, 

But V\\ tell the truth, old lad 1 

It was all the chance he'd got, I say. 

And he gave it to his mate ; 
rd one hand on it, and one in his hair, 

When they found us, nigh too late. 

For Sam had sent the lifeboat out, 
And they pulled us both aboard ; 

There was not a plank of the Nance afloat ; 
But I've got that bladder stored. 

And whenever I'm vext, or things go wrong, 

If Will should not be nigh, 
I light my pipe, and sit nigh hand 

Where it hangs there safe and dry. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Mrs. Susan K, Phillips. 269 

And I know through good and evil, 

We are mates on to the end ; 
For the Book says there is no greater love 

Than to give one's life for one's friend. 


In the bitter gloom of a winter's morn 
A babe was bom. 

The snow piled high against wall and door, 
On the mighty oak boughs, the frost lay hoar ; 
But warmth and light shrined the happy face, 
Softly pillowed mid down and lace. 
The bells clashed out from the reeling spire, 
The night was reddened by many a fire ; 
The cottage smiled for the joy of the hall, 
As the poor man answered the rich man's call, 
And his lot for a day was less forlorn. 
Because a little child was born. 

In the bitter gloom of a winter's morn 

A babe was born. 

The snow piled high in the narrow street 

Trodden and stained by hurrying feet ; 

On the hearth the embers lay cold and dead. 

And the woman who crouched on the damp straw bed 

Muttered a curse as the drunken sport 

Swelled up to her lair from the crowded court ; 

Eiot without and squalor within 

To welcome a waif to a world of sin, 

And a pitiful life was the more forlorn 

Because a little child was born. 

In a smiling home amid sun and flowers 
A child grew up. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

270 North Country Poets. 

Calm, and beauty, and culture, and wealth, 

To give power to life and grace to health ; 

Gentle influence, thought, and care, 

To train the darling of love and prayer. 

The stately heirlooms of place and blood. 

To crown the flower of maidenhood ; 

With childhood's pearly innocence kept 

On the folded leaves where the sunshine slept ; 

So sweetly and richly foamed the cup 

Life held, where the happy girl grew up. 

Where ** home " was a vague and empty word 

A child grew up. 

Where oath and blow were the only law 

And ugly misery all she saw ; 

Where want and sin drew hand in hand 

Bound the haunts that disgrace our Christian land ; 

A loveless, hopeless, joyless life 

Of crime and wretchedness, struggle and strife ; 

Never a glimpse of the sweet spring skies 

To soften the flash in the wild young eyes ; 

No drop of peace in the poisoned cup 

Life held, where the reckless girl grew up. 

On a summer eve as the slow sun set 
A woman died. 

At the close of a long and tranquil life, 
Honoured and guarded, mother and wife, 
With gentle hands whose work was done, 
And gentle head whose crown was won ; 
With children's children at her knee 
And friends who watched her reverently : 
Knowing her memory would remain 
Treasured by grief, that scarce was pain. 
With her heart's dearest at her side. 
Blessing and blessed, the woman died. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Mrs. Susan K, Phillips, 271 

On a summer eve as the slow sun set 
A woman died. 

She had fought the failing fight so long, 
But time was cruel and hard and strong ; 
Without a faith, without a prayer, 
With none to aid and none to care ; 
With not a trace upon the page, 
From desperate youth to loathsome age. 
But sin and sorrow, wrong and chance, 
And bitter blank of ignorance ; 
With not a hand to help or save, 
With not a hope beyond the grave, 
Tossed in the black stream's rushing tide 
Unmourned, unmissed, the woman died. 

And, we are all akin, runs the kindly creed ; 
And the riddle of life is hard to read I 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

272 North Country Poets, 

Aaron Watson. 

POET, in this utilitarian age, must needs prove his raison 
d'Stre. John Buskin, himself an ardent lover of poetry, 
as of everything else that is ideal and refining in influence, 
confesses as much in one of his letters. ** Now, not only," 
he writes, " is this proverbially an age in which poetry is 
little cared for ; but even with those who have most love 
for it, and most need of it, it requires, especially if high 

and philosophical, an attuned, quiet, and exalted frame 

of mind for its enjoyment ; and if dragged into the midst of the noisy 
interests of everyday life, may easily be made ridiculous or offensive." It 
is, however, to idyllic and philosophical poetry that the great critic especially 
refers. The effect of a quotation from Wordsworth delivered *' on Change " 
would be grotesque and absurd. Nevertheless, poetry of action and of 
labour is eminently suited to the present time. We require to have held 
up before us, for our example and encouragement, the heroisms of the 
common-place— the ideals of work-a-day life. And it is just for this reason 
that such work as that of Mr. Aaron Watson is entirely acceptable. He is, 
before all, a poet of the people. Invariably through the rhythm of his 
verse comes a soul-stirring sound— the sound of the heart throbs of humanity. 
His are songs of struggle, of work, or of endurance ; of passionate outcry 
against oppression and wrong ; of bitter mockery of whatever in our social 
system is false, hollow and insincere ; of deep and tender sympathy with 
the victims of these same falsities and insincerities, of keen recognition of 
the pathos of uncomplaining endurance. 

No small personal aim or grievance appears to cripple his muse. 
Healthy in tone and in design, his poems and ballads form a refreshing con- 
trast to the generality of those of our modern writers of verse who seem to 
fancy that to be morbid is to be poetic. We feel grateful to Mr. Watson in 
that he has avoided this, alas, too common disease of morbidity ; and only 
regret that the claims of a busy life do not allow him sufficient leisure to 
produce more work of a like sort. We are glad, however, to learn that he 
has been engaged upon a subject, for which his talents and scholarly 
attainments render him eminently fitted. The romance, we allude to, is 
to deal with circumstances connected with the commencement of the reign 
of James I., being a narrative of the last voyage of Sir Walter Ealeigh and 
a search by some of his crew for the golden city of Manoa. 

Mr. Watson is a native of Fritchley , in Derbyshire. While residing in 
Manchester, whither he went at an early age to push his fortunes, he 
became a contributor to the press, both in London and in Manchester itself. 
Encouraged by the success of his first efforts, he next proceeded to 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where, after a newspaper venture of his own, he was 
appointed assistant editor of the Newcastle Weekly Chronicle. Four years 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Aaron Watson. 273 

later, he joined the staff of the Newcastle Daily Chronicle as leader-writer 
and special correspondent. After being engaged upon these two papers some 
considerable period, he resigned, and the editor and staff showed their 
appreciation of the value of his services by entertaining him with a farewell 
banquet, and presenting him with a testimonial of the regard in which he 
was held. 

In London, whither he went in 1882, his success was speedily attained. 
By a stroke of rare good fortune, his first article in the Pall Mall Gazette 
— at that time under the able editorship of Mr. John Morley — chanced to 
be made the subject of question in the House, and attracted thereby con- 
siderable attention ; while a subsequent one, dealing with the treatment of 
our invalided soldiers from Egypt, was the primary cause of a much needed 
Commission of Inquiry upon the subject. His work then found a ready 
market, and he contributed at this time to a great many of the leading papers 
and magazines. He was appointed editor of the London Echo in 1884, and 
himself founded the Weekly Echo, which he succeeded in making a popular 
journal for the people by dint of judicious management and much bright 
writing of his own. Nothing seems to come amiss to his facile pen ; and 
his style has won for it the commendation of many leaders of literature. 
And now again, Mr. Watson is a resident in the North, living at Tynemouth, 
where the ruins of one of our most famous Priories look out over the 
North Sea. 



A Conversation. 

We strolled beside the margin of the sea, 

Ransome and I, a mile or so from where 

My cottage nestled 'mid its shadowing trees 

And roses bloom'd within my garden ground. 

A little, snug, sweet, solitary place ; 

No neighbours but the distant fisher-folk, 

No visitors but sea-gulls, starlings, tern, 

A thrush sometimes, and once an eagle — strayed 

From some far northern eyrie, broken-winged, 

Heart-broken too, and very near to death. 

I marked with red ink in my calendar 
The day when Ransome came ; and yet it seemed 
That he was like my eagle, broken-winged, 
And sick at heart, and with no strength for flight, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

274 North Country Poets. 

And wearied past all hope, desire, or care. 

'' We laugh at you," he said ; and with the words 
There came the shadow of his former smile ; 
*' We laugh at you that you are hidden here, 
'Twixt desolate landscape and deserted sea ; 
You, who have breasted with such strength of limb 
The mighty surges of our city life, 
And kept your head above the breaking waves 
So many drown in. Come, what secret now. 
What mystery of mysteries keeps you here ? " 

" I love the sea, the sands, the dunes," I said, 
" The storms of winter, and the summer calm, 
The midnight sky above the lifting waves — 
The gleaming gems that stud Orion's belt. 
And pallid glitter of his mighty sword." 

*' All which evades my question,*' he replied, 
** Not being earnest. Let the secret out." 

" I have my purpose, doubtless : that may be 
To fashion ballades, rondeaus, villanelles, 
Toys, playthings, in which artful use of words 
Makes up for lack of thoughts ; for words, you know, 
Are numerous in * Webster ; ' thoughts are few.*' 

'* A truce to jesting," Eansome said. *' For me, 
I have no further use for ' purposes ; ' 
We're friends no longer, having said farewell 
This year or two, nor met to change our minds." 

Here was strange news ; for Eansome, long ago, 
When we were youths together— he bright-souled. 
Fresh, eager, buoyant, I less light of wing — 
Had been compact of purpose, and resolved, 
In the knight-errant spirit, to subdue 
The world to order, and to right all wrongs. 

" 'Twere well," T said, '* that I should question you. 
What bee has stung you ; or what venomed asp 
Has spread its numbing poison through your blood ? 
You still have what the world calls youth, and fame 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Aaron Watson. 275 

Has scarcely shunned you. As for wealth, we two 
May pride ourselves we have the strength to earn. 
Your purposes were noble : have you found 
The task too heavy ? *' 

" There you hit the blot," 
Eansome replied. " At most I am but one 
Against the world. I toiled, indeed, and strove 
As Paul strove with the beasts at Ephesus, 
But now at last my strength has given out. 
The mass of human misery is too great 
For one to rear himself against the tide 
And say, ' Go thou no further.' One, indeed ! 
Nothing at all is left that one can do ; 
And now-a-days a man must sit apart, 
Twiddle his thumbs if he be dull of soul, 
Or eat his heart up, if that heart can feel." 

** 'Tis a sad doctrine, truly, that you teach," 
I said, and looked within his orb-like eyes ; 
** And 'tis a mercy that it is not true. 
Why, even I, beside this lonely sea, 
Amid this solitude at which you rail. 
Live in good hope to do some true deed yet. 
And help the world somewhat before I die. 
Meanwhile I dig my little garden plot. 
And tend my roses, till my path is clear. 
Have you no garden ? Nay, I do not mean 
A few square yards of soil, hedged round with thorn 
And with a tree or two to lend you shade. 
No minor duty that lies near to you ? 
No smaller purpose that, while great ones wait, 
May best be served by humble industry ? ** 

*' All purpose, great and small, leads to one end. 
Which is the gradual breaking of the heart." 
So Ransome said, despondent. " Nothing thrives. 
One only sees one's patient effort die.*' 

** I have my thoughts on dying," I replied. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


North Country Poets, 

** Death seems to me the vastest sham of all, 
The one great imposition on our kind. 
No effort, howsoever small and poor, 
Ever died yet, if it deserved to live. 
Look you, I throw this stone into the sea ; 
The waves absorb it ; on the ocean floor 
It lies with other ancients of its kind ; 
But yonder ripple in the silvery calm 
Makes all the world of waters tremulous — 
Aye, down as deep as to the Eraken's bed. 
How know I on what shores that ripple breaks, 
On rock-strewn coasts, or cliffs, or populous sands, 
Or fairy islands garlanded with flowers ? 
These are the secrets that we need not know. 
Enough to know is, what is done is done, 
And what is done is done beyond recall. 

No effort dies nor fails " 

*' Hold there, my friend," 
Said Bansome. '' That's the old familiar stuff 
We learned as boys — How many years ago ? 
Your ripple is already out of sight : 
*Twas imperceptible e'en while you talked. 
It proves my argument, but shatters yours. 
Why, that's what man can do, nor more nor less — 
Just throw a stone into the heedless sea." 
" You feel, but do not reason," I replied. 
'* You ask for the effect to follow cause 
Too soon and visibly. 'Twere well to wait. 
The pears upon my trees are still but green. 
But they will ripen in the summer sun. 
Our vanity would do all things at once ; 
God takes his time, and puts us all to shame. 
I am for trust, for working with a will, 
And waiting long to see what comes of it. 
We can but do our part — the doctrine's old, 
Just as you say ! — We can but do our part, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Aaron Watson. 


Perform the little duties or the great 
Just as they come in order. For a deed — 
Well, I, like you, should like to do a deed 
That men would speak of, and, not only that, 
That men would profit by. We cannot tell ; 
Often we needs must grope within the dark. 
God lights us when he needs us. Patience, then ; 
Have patience, cherish hope, and keep alive 
The glow-worm faith, to shine until the dawn 1 " 

The sunny ripple broke about our feet. 
And pools of brine held little bits of sky. 
And wo went homeward o'er the purple sands. 


Night on the Thames, and yonder flush of light, 
Centred above the purple mass of gloom. 
Throbs over London. Silent as the tomb 

The river seems, and is deserted quite, 

Save where, far off, almost from reach of sight, 
A boat creeps forward, so that I discern 
A single figure crouching at the stern. 

Dark as a shadow, still as is the night. 

By either shore pillars of tremulous flame 
Gleam in the lifting waters everywhere, 
Eeflected from the endless lamps that sweep 

Curving to that vast city. Ah, there came 
A sound like to a sob borne on the air. 
The moan of London in its restless sleep. 

A little town surrounding a sweet bay, 
With jutting headlands, under which the sea, 
Unvexed by any breeze, stirs dreamily ; 

Bed sails of fishing boats out far away ; 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

278 North Country Poets. 

A sky from which the light of a June day 
Floods all the waters ; landward a few trees, 
With heath and fern and bracken to ihe knees 

Of one who strolls there, careless of his way. 

A dainty picture, whether sea or land 
One's eyes are fixed on 1 There, the country sweet ; 
And here the placid, slowly-swooning waves, 

The brown-tiled houses nestling to the strand, 

The blue smoke shimmering upwards, the one street, 
And yonder churchyard, with its mossy graves. 


You see that little chap on crutches there — 
Him with the bare head and the yellow hair — 
Well, that's my boy, the only child I've got ; 
The last that's living out of all the lot 1 
He isn't much to give a father pride ! 
Well, perhaps he's not, but if that boy had died. 
Sure as I stand, I should have lost my wife. 
And all the comfort would have left my life. 

You smile because I speak of comfort, sir ; 
There isn't much 'bout which to make a stir : 
A room there at the top, two chairs, a bed, 
And a patched, broken, cranky roof o'erhead — 
That's all I've got to boast of ; and to pay 
For that comes hard, on fifteenpence a day. 
'Twas of the roof that I was going to speak. 
The boy there, who is crippled, thin, and weak, 
And always ailing, has but just got out 
After a long and almost killing bout. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Aaron Watson. 279 

Poor lad, he's always had to fight for breath, 
Always seemed far less meant for life than death. 
His spirit pulled him through ; a pluckier lad, 
Or one more tender, parents never had. 
Well, then, the roof above our garret there 
Was rather meant for letting in the air 
Than keeping out the rain. At nights we lie 
And look up through the rafters to the sky. 
The lad will count the stars as, one by one, 
They seem to flicker feebly, and are gone ; 
Or sometimes watch the moonbeam stealing through ; 
And weave strange fancies that would startle you. 
What's that ? Why don't I have the roof repaired ? 
Why, who's to mend it ? How the landlord stared 
When I asked him I And then he turned about ; 
And said if we complained he'd chuck us out ! 
And so he would, too ; that's the landlord's way. 
"It's good enough," he says, *' for what we pay." 

But there, I meant to speak about the lad. 
Last time but one that he was taken bad 
The rain was falling almost night and day, 
And came down dripping on him where he lay ; 
And so his mother took the boards (you see, 
I'm just a sandwich man), and tenderly 
Laid them above him to keep off the wet. 
For that was all the help our means could get. 

Well, that poor lad — him who on crutches hops — 
Lay there in bed, a-counting of the drops, 
And looking so as if it eased his pain 
To listen to the dripping of the rain ; 
And one day, ** Mother," says he, to my wife, 
Who's lost her health in saving of his life, 
" How I do pity those, on these wet days, 
Who've got no boards to cover them," he says. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

28o North Country Poets. 

There, when I heard it I burst into tears 
Such as Pve never shed for years on years ; 
I think that partly they were tears of joy, 
And partly tears of pity for the boy ; 
For I was proud of him — proud as could be ; 
And yet all broken down with misery. 

I've heard the parson say, time and again, 
How Christ came down and lived among us men 
In pity for us. Well, perhaps it's bad, 
But I'm reminded of Him by the lad. 


Here is the place at which we must part ; 
Here are severed the ways we tread. 
You must go that way, I this, dear heart I 

And now I think of the words you said 

Long ago, ere I knew you well. 

Dear, shall I give you those words again ? 

' How wide the world is, and, sooth to tell, 

How little we care for all we meet ! 

The greeting of friends in a crowded street, 

Who meet without pleasure, and part without pain ; 

That is what life is to me, ' you said, 

' And, believe me, I do not find it sweet.' 

Yet life has seemed to be sweet since then ; 
To you and to me it was sweet indeed 1 
But now, how bitter it seems again. 

Behold, from the grass I pluck a weed. 
And blow the dust of its petals wide. 
Does that remind you of aught beside 
The few last words that must now be said ? 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Aaron Watson. 281 

Ah yes ! I see that you strive to hide 
A tear or two. Will you bend your head, 
And rest it where it has lain before 
A moment. There, I had rather have died I 
Good bye ! The pain of parting is sore. 
Here, you see, do the ways divide ; 
Here, for ever, I leave your side ; 
Hence, till death, we shall meet no more. 

You to the east, and I to the west. 

But wherever you go my thoughts will follow ; 

Life without you will be empty and hollow, 

Life without you, whom my soul loves best. 

You to the east, and I to the west. 

And wherever you go my heart will follow. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

282 North Country Poets. 

The Rev. Wm. M or ley Punshon. 

I ILLIAM Morley Ponsbon was born at Doncaster, on tbe 
29tb May, 1824, and at the Grammar School of his native 
town, and at Tadcaster, he received the rudiments of 
education. When abont 14 years of age he was sent to 
Hall, where he entered his grandf ather^s office as junior 
clerk. For three years he remained in the ancient and 
thrice-loyal borough, occupying every minute he could 
jd steal from office-work in posting himself in the politics 
of the day, in cultivating his mental faculties, and in writing poetry. He 
persuaded several young men to join him in his self-imposed tasks, and with 
them started a sort of Mutual Improvement Society, which they called the 
Menticultural Society, and in connection with which they published for a 
short time a periodical entitled the " Hull Quarterly Magazine." Of this 
society Punshon was the life and light, and at its meetings he first gave 
evidence of the possession of those elocutionary powers which were to stamp 
him as one of the most finished orators of the century, and to earn him his 
proud title—" The Poet of the Christian Pulpit." On the 23rd of May, 

1839, he joined the Methodist Society at a meeting of the leaders of the 
Gteorge Yard Chapel in Hull, and it was at EUerby, one of the tiny hamlets 
in the neighbourhood of that town, that on Sunday, the 2nd of August, 

1840, when only sixteen years old, he preached his first sermon, one that 
was remembered and talked of in the place years afterwards, when, as Dr. 
Punshon, the head of the Wesleyan Connexion, he visited the scene of his 
first attempt in the pulpit. 

In 1840 Mr. Punshon left Hull for Sunderland, to fill a vacant stool in 
an uncle's counting-house. There he stayed for another three years, and 
then cast away day-book and ledger for ever. After a short course of 
training and probation, he was proposed for the Wesleyan ministry in 1844, 
and in the springtime of the following year, he went to take charge of a 
new Wesleyan church that had been formed at Marden in Kent, by seceders 
from the Established Church, who objected to the Eitualistic practices that 
obtained there. Under Mr. Punshon's care the new congregation so in- 
creased and flourished that a large and substantial chapel was built, and 
speedily filled by those anxious to hear the new preacher. So popular did 
he become that, so it is said", an offer was made to erect and endow a church 
for him. He, however, was resolved to remain true to the Church of his 
adoption, and therefore refused the tempting offer. 

From 1845 to 1855 his life was one of hard work and frequent change. 
From Marden he went to Whitehaven, and from there to Carlisle. For two 
years he laboured in the latter city, leaving in 1849 to be ordained at the 
Manchester Conference. In the same year he was married to Miss Maria 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

The Rev. Win. Morley Punshon. 


Vickers. On his ordination he was appointed to Newcastle-on-Tyne, from 
there he removed to Sheffield, and from Sheffield, in 1855, to Leeds. 

During this period of almos tincessant labour Dr. Punshon, however, 
found time to make his first appearance in Exeter Hall as a public lecturer, 
his subject being *' The Prophet of Horeb." This lecture, delivered on the 
17th of January, 1854, to an audience of 3000 persons, established his 
reputation as a master of oratory. He roused his hearers to enthusiasm, 
played upon their every passion and emotion, claimed and obtained their 
sympathy, and carried them away thrilled by a flood of magnificent 
eloquence. His lectures were delivered from memory, and with such 
wonderful exactness, that on their subsequent publication not a sentence 
would be found altered. 

Nor was it as a lecturer alone that Dr. Punshon displayed almost 
transcendental abilities as an orator. No one who has heard him proclaim 
from the pulpit the glorious message of Christ will ever forget the impas- 
sioned manner, the voice of matchless pathos and harmony, that so 
moved the crowded chapel, nor his low whisper, penetrating as the still 
small voice of Conscience. Dr. Punshon's sermons were not only specimens 
of convincing eloquence, they possessed literary merit of no mean order, as 
a perusal of the published volumes will reveal. 

In the thick of his pulpit and platform triumphs. Dr. Punshon did not 
neglect the every-day work of the ministry. He became a member of the 
Conference in 1859, and in due course occupied the Presidential seat. He 
set to work to relieve the congregation at Spitalfield's from their financial 
difficulties, and by his lecture on the Huguenots raised £1000 for that 
purpose. He went out to Canada in 1868, and as President of the Canadian 
Conference laboured with success in the new field there opened out to him. 
On his return to England an e£fort was successfully made to provide a sum 
of £10,000, in order to build chapels in watering-places where none existed, 
and to restore and improve those already built. A similar work in the 
metropolis was then undertaken, and in a thousand and one other ways, 
both at the Mission House and elsewhere, he threw his whole soul and 
energy into his efforts for the welfare and advancement of Wesleyan 

But in the midst of life comes death, and Dr. Punshon was struck 
down in the full strength of his manhood. He started for the sunny shores 
of the Mediterranean, hoping that change and rest might bring renewed 
health. But in vain, he returned suddenly home to die. On the 14th April, 
1881, the end came. His last utterance was a charge to wife and children 
to *♦ Love Jesus, and meet me in Heaven," and then the spirit returned to 
God who gave it. 

Sidney Clabke. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

284 North Country Poets. 


" Eyery man's work shall be made manifest : for the day shall declare 
it, because it shall be reyealed by fire ; and the fire shall try every 
man's work of what sort it is." — 1 Cor, UL, 13. 

By trifles in our common ways 

Our characters are slowly piled ; — 
We lose not all our yesterdays, — 
The man hath something of the child. 
Part of the past to all the present cleaves ; — 
As the rose-odours linger, e'en in fading leaves. 

The habits of each wayward hour 

Increase by their indulgence gain, 

Till we are slaves beneath their power, 

Yet all unconscious of our chain ; 

And to our fancied independence cling, 

As birds, which, in their cage, the songs of freedom sing. 

Never did flood sweep through the vale 

Without some ravage left behind, 
Some wreck to turn a young face pale ; — 
Some household comfort undermined ; — 
So hath each moment, used or wasted, left 
To all an added grace, or of some charm bereft. 

As, when the ancient temple rose, 

In silence must the work be done ; 
As light upon the morning flows, 
The bright dower of the silent sun, — 
So heedless men their busy tasks have plied, 
Nor known what palaces were rising by their side. 

Full oft, in some unhappy night. 

The fire hath wrapt around a house 
Where Care had hid his griefs from sight, 
And slumber stole o*er aching brows, 
And startled sleepers, 'mid the fiery strife. 
Are rudely roused from dreams, and battle for dear life ; 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

The Rev, Wm. Morley Punshon. 285 

Then all that darkness had concealed 

Is by the ghastly dawn declared ; 
And in that sickening light revealed, 
No household mystery is spared ; 
There was no time to alter — 'mid the blaze ; — 
Jmt as they were, they met the stranger's curious gaze. 

And is it to be so at last ? 

All our life-work disclosed and tried ! 
In memory of the faithless past 
Who may the stern assize abide ? — 
Those who, on Sion's sure foundation old, 
' Build " steadfast, day by day, the ** silver " and the ** gold." 


« Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." — 1 Cor, 
V. 6.—" Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap." — Gal, vi. 7. 

Speak not of trifles light as air, 

Or froth of Ocean's pride ; 
For things, on which no thought we spare, 

The mightiest forces hide. 
As slumbers, in the clod, the fire, — 
As lingers music in the lyre, — 
So future destinies are bom 
Prom hours of prayer, or hours of scorn. 

Where God in generous fulness dwells. 

Nor small nor great is known ; 
He paints the tiniest floweret-cells 
O'er emerald meadows strown ; 
And sees, but not with kinder eyes, 
The heavens grow rich with sunset dyes ; 
Both ministrant to beauty's sense. 
Both signs of one Omnipotence. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

286 North Country Poets. 

He comes not forth with pageant grand 

His marvels to perform ; 
A cloud " the bigness of a hand " 

Can blacken heaven with storm. 
A grain of dust, if He arrange, 
The fortunes of a planet change. 
An insect reef can overwhelm 
The stately navies of a realm. 

There are no trifles. Arks as frail 

As bore God's prince of old, 
On many a buoyant Nile stream sail 

The age's heirs to hold. 
From Jacob's love on Joseph shed, 
Came Egypt's wealth and Israel's bread ; 
From Euth's chance gleaning in the corn, 
The Psalmist sang ; — The Christ was born. 

Each spirit weaves the robe it wears, 

From out life's busy loom, 
And common tasks and daily cares 

Make up the threads of doom. 
Wouldst thou the veiled future read ? 
The harvest answereth to the seed. 
Shall Heaven e'er crown the victor's brow ?- 
Ask tidings of the battle now. 

Oh wise beyond all written page 

Are those, who learn to say, 
" Less worth were centuries of age 

Than golden hours to-day 1 " 
For in the present all the past 
And future years are folded fast. 
And, in each laden moment, lie 
The shapes of an eternity. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

The Rev, Wm. Morley Punshon, 287 


Another Sabbath sun is down, 
Grey twilight creeps o'er thorpe and town. 
How much of sorrow, unconfessed, 
Lies hidden in yon darkening west 1 

What burdens, uncomplaining borne I 
What masks o'er latent anguish worn ! 
What pangs of heart-break I — plots of sin I 
Have this night's shadows folded in ! 

We woke to-day with anthem^ sweet 
To sing before the mercy-seat, 
And, ere the darkness round us fell, 
We bade the grateful vespers swell. 

Whatever has risen from heart sincere. 
Each upward glance of filial fear. 
Each litany, devoutly prayed. 
Each gift upon Thine altar laid ; 

Each tear, regretful of the past. 
Each longing o'er the future cast. 
Each brave resolve, — each spoken vow, — 
Jesus, our Lord 1 accept them now. 

Whatever beneath Thy searching eyes 
Has wrought to spoil our sacrifice ; 
Aught of presumption, over bold, 
The dross we vainly brought for gold ; 

If we have knelt at alien shrine. 
Or insincerely bowed at Thine, 
Or basely offered ** blind and lame," 
Or blushed beneath unholy shame ; 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

288 North Country Poets, 

Or,— craven prophets, — tamed to flee 
When duty bade us speak for Thee ; — 
'Mid this sweet stillness, while we bow, 
Jesus, our Lord 1 forgive us now. 

Oh let each following Sabbath yield 
For our loved work an ampler field, 
A sturdier hatred of the wrong, 
A stronger purpose to grow strong ; — 

And teach us erring souls to win. 
And "hide " their ** multitude of sin ;*' 
To tread in Christ's long-suffering way. 
And grow more like Him day by day. 

So as our Sabbaths hasten past, 
And rounding years bring nigh the .last ; 
When sinks the sun behind the hill. 
When all the " weary wheels " stand still ; 

When by our bed the loved ones weep. 
And death-dews o'er the forehead creep, 
And vain is help or hope from men : — 
Jesus, our Lord I receive us then. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Ahmstbong, James 109 

My Muirland Hame 110 

Aid Crag Ill 

Axon, William E. A 159 

The Ancoats Skylark 160 

All is not gold that glitters 162 
The Author of the " Imita- 

tioOhristiU .;. 163 

Epigram ("So full of 

graces") 163 

Banks, George Linnaeus 48 

What I live for 49 

Lay of the Captive Lark.. 61 

Day is breaking 55 

Banks, Mrs. Geo. Linnjeus 1 

Industria et Probitate 2 

Bridal Bobea 4 

Ahmel 5 

Falling Leaves 7 

Baron, Joseph 233 

A Ballade of Memorie 233 

Ballade of Foot-balle 234 

Two Seeds 235 

Bayldon, Arthur A. D 46 

The Two Worlds 47 

The Sphinx 47 

Song to the Rainbow 47 

Bell, H. T. Mackenzie 177 

Death of Captain Hunt ... 178 

Quietude 179 

A Lest^ Sunrise in Madeira 180 

Old Year Leaves 181 

Brierley, Bbn 82 

In Memoriam 83 

The Wayver of Welbrook.. 84 

Waverlow Bells 85 

Brockib, William 20 

The Mighty 21 

Love 23 

Eternal Becords 24 

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett . 32 

The Cry of the Children... 34 

The Lady's Yes 38 

The Sleep 39 

The Soul's Expression ... 41 


Burnett, William Hall 207 

Ah's Yorkshire 208 

An Auld Man's Confession 210 
Stokesley 213 

Burnley, James 128 

T' Yorkshireman i' London 129 

At Scarborough 131 

Waiting for the Swallows. 133 

. Charlesworth, Bev. E. G 113 

The Skylark 114 

Faith's Transfiguration ... 114 
To J. B.C.— In Memoriam 116 

To Memory *.. 115 

To Love 116 

To a Snowdrop on a Grave 116 

Clouqh, Arthur Hugh 122 

Through a glass darkly ... 124 

Qua Cursum Yentus 125 

Qui Laborat Orat 126 

Say not the struggle 
nought availeth 127 

CoLLiNGWooD, W. Gershom 187 

The Wooing of the Lan- 
cashire Witches 188 

Lent-Lilies :.. 189 

Aims in Life 192 

Old-fashioned Love ......... 192 

The Aloe Blossom 193 

Fortune 194 

CoLLiNsoN, Samuel 8 

May 8 

Time .* 9 

The Lifeboat 10 

Whitby Abbey 10 

Cooper, Joseph 220 

An O wdham Melludy 220 

Bodle the Bouser 222 

Helping Clod to make the 
flowers grow 223 

DoTCHSON, Thomas Parkinson... 164 

When I am dead 164. 

The Message of the Chimes 166 

Doyle, Sir Francis Hastings... 57 
The Loss of the " Birken- 
head " 57 

The Private of the Buffs... 59 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


North Country Poets. 


EccLEB, Joseph H 171 

Deein be inches 172 

Keep aght ov debt 173 

The Look of Flaxen Hair. 175 

Elliot, Bby. BoBEBT, M. A 258 

The Opening of the Bells 
of Holy Trinity Church, 

Hull, A.D. 1727 269 

The Boyal Academy, 1885. 261 
A Dark Day 261 

FoBSHAW, Chables Fbedebick... 135 

Church Bells 136 

Childhood 137 

A Village Scene 137 

Gbeenwell, DoBA 145 

The Blade of Grass 147 

Desdichado 147 

The Bed-breast 148 

Home 151 

Heayibideb, Henby 167 

Apostrophe to Home 168 

To the Press 169 

Holt, David 42 

The Woodlands 43 

Building up 44 

At the Grave of Words- 
worth 45 

HoNEYWooD, Patty 104 

City Notes 105 

Past 105 

The Holy Rood 106 

HonaHTON, Lobd 226 

Strangers Yet 227 

The Tent 229 

The Brook-side 231 

Jackson, Flobbnce 107 

We Six 107 

The Voice of Change 108 

KiDSON, Bobbbt 202 

Why should I write a 

weary poem? 202 

My Friend 203 

Christmas Chimes 204 

What of the Night? 205 

Lancasteb, Geobge 245 

How the Widow's Goose 

came there 246 

Matilda, ye Pryde of ye 

Belle Towre Walke 250 

Lines supposed to be writ- 
ten by Bobinson Crusoe. 254 


Leiohton, William 216 

Baby died to-day 216 

Awake 217 

My Nest 219 

MiLNEB, Geoeob 68 

A Flower Piece 68 

A March Evening 69 

Grey Tower of Dalmeny... 70 

Too Soon 70 

Post Cards 71 

Newbigoino, Thomas 11 

There's Pleasure & Health 

in Contentment 12 

O Tell me not of Sunless 

Hours 13 

In Bossendale there Lives 

a Lass 14 

Willie is waiting for me... 15 

Newsam, William Cabtwbioht.. 16 

Looking Back 16 

By the Sea 18 

Sweet Mother, dear 19 

Noble, James Ashcboft 87 

The Bed Thread of Honour 89 

Father and Child 91 

Autumn 92 

George Eliot 92 

Peacock, John Macleay 182 

Night Scenes in the City... 183 
To a Friend 185 

Phillips, Mbs. Susan E 263 

The Buried Chime 264 

Me and My Mate 265 

Two 269 


Permanence of Character. 284 

Influence of Trifles 285 

Sabbath Evening 287 

BiCHARDsoN, John Duncan 66 

England 66 

Broken Toys 67 

Bichardson, John 97 

Tauld Farmer's Midneet 

Soliloquy 99 

What use to be lang sen ... 100 

It'snobbutme 102 

Skipsey, Joseph 61 

Mother wept 63 

The Violet and the Bose... 63 

The Beign of Gold 64 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 




Taylor, Sib Hbnby 237 

Portrait of a Bevolutionist 238 

John of Launoy 239 

Sorrow's Uses 240 

Master Minds 340 

Battle of Senlac 240 

Company in Banqueting 
Boom in Palace of the 

Duke of Orleans 241 

Aretina Sings 241 

Hope 242 

Dawn of Heart- joy 242 

The Hon. Edward Ernest 

Villiers 243 

Character 244 

Music and Light 244 

TiREBucK, William 117 

The Taunt 118 

The Wooing of the Poppy. 119 

To Margaret 120 

The Blessing 121 

ToMLiNSON, William Weaveb... 152 
The Ballad of the Fridstol 153 

Waddington, Samuel 93 

Morning 94 

Dort 94 

Mors et Vita 95 

The Inn of Care 95 

The Neophyte 95 

Walleb, John Rowell 139 

The Little Grave under 

the Snow 140 

The Organist 141 

Northumhrian Lanes 142 


Watson, Aaron 272 

By the Northern Sea: a 

Conversation 273 

Pictures 277 

" In a Garret Bred " 278 

A Parting 280 

Watson, William 196 

A Song of Three Singers... 198 

The Questioner 198 

Epigrams: "I close your 
Marlowe's page ; " "To 
keep in sight perfection; ' ' 
" Think not thy wis- 
dom;" "Love, like a 
bird ; " " Onward the 
chariot;" "I plucked 

this flower" 199-200 

Sonnets : The Soudanese.. 200 
The English Dead 201 

Waugh, Edwin 25 

Come whoam to thi Chil- 

der an' Me 26 

TheDule's i' this Bonnet 

o'Mine 27 

The Moorland Breeze 29 

Christmas Morning 30 

Wilson, Joseph 72 

Aw wish yor Muther wad 

cum 73 

Dinnet Clash the Door ... 75 
The Deeth o' Renforth ... 76 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



A Ballade of Memorie 233 

A Dark Day 261 

Ah, mel 6 

A Flower Piece 68 

Ah'B Yorkshire 208 

Aid Crag Ill 

Aims in Life 192 

A Lest^ Sunrise in Madeira ... 180 

All is not gold that glitters 162 

A March Evening 69 

An Awd Man's Confession **10 

An Owdham Melludy 220 

Annette 78 

A Parting 280 

Apostrophe to Home 168 

Aretina Sings (from '♦ A Sici- 
lian Summer ") 42 

A Song of Three Singers 198 

At Scarborough 131 

At the Grave of Wordsworth . . 45 

Autumn, 1886 92 

A Village Scene 137 

Awake 217 

Aw wish yor Muther wad cum 73 

Baby died to-day 216 

Ballade of Foote-Balle . 234 

Battle of Senlac (from *' The 
Eve of the Conquest ") ...240 

Bodle the Bouser 222 

Bridal Bobes 4 

Broken Toys ; or, the Mother's 

Soliloquy 67 

Building up 44 

By the Northern Sea 273 

By the Sea 18 

Childhood 137 

Church Bells 136 

City Notes 105 

Character (from *Lago Lugano') 244 

Christmas Chimes 204 

Christmas Morning 30 

Come whoam to thi Childer 

an' Me 26 

Company in Banqueting Boom 
in Palace of the Duke of 
Orleans (from " St. Cle- 
ment's Eve ") 241 

Dawn of Heart-joy (from " A 

Sicilian Summer ") 242 

Day is Breaking 55 

Death of Captain Hunt 178 

Deein be inches 172 

Desdichado 147 

Dinnet clash the door 75 

Dort 94 

England 66 

Epigrams : *• I close your Mar- 
lowe's page" 199 

** To keep in sight perfection ' ' 199 
" Think not thy wisdom " ... 199 

••Love, like a bird" 200 

• * Onward the chariot " 200 

•• I plucked this flower " ... 200 
Epigram : •* So full of graces " 163 

Eternal Records 24 

Falling Leaves 7 

Faith's Transfiguration 114 

Father and Child 91 

Fortune 194 

George Eliot 92 

Good Night 81 

Grey Tower of Dalmeny 70 

Helping God to make the Flow- 
ers grow 223 

Home 151 

Hope (from •• A Sicilian Sum- 
mer") 242 

How the Widow's Goose came 

there 246 

•* In a Garret Bred " 278 

Industria et Probitate 2 

Influence of Trifles 285 

In Memoriam : Annie 83 

In Bossendale there Lives a 

Lass 14 

It's nobbut me ^ 102 

John of Launoy (from •• Philip 

van Artevelde ") 239 

Keep aght of Debt 173 

Lay of the Captive Lark 61 

Lent-Lilies 189 

Lines supposed to be written by 
Robinson Crusoe 254 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Index of Poems. 



Looking Back 16 

Love 23 

Master Minds (from "Philip 

van Artevelde ") 240 

Matilda, y© Pryde of ye Belle 

TowreWalke 260 

May 8 

Me and My Mate 265 

Morning 94 

Mors et Vita 95 

Mother Wept 63 

Music and Light (from "Alwine 

and Adelais" 244 

My Friend 203 

My Muirland Hame 110 

My Nest 219 

Night Scenes in the City 183 

Northumbrian Lanes 142 

Old-Fashioned Love 192 

Old Year Leaves 181 

O tell me not of Sunless Hours 13 

Past 105 

Permanence of Character 284 

Pictures 277 

Portrait of a Kevolutionist(f rom 

" Philip van Artevelde ") .. 238 

Post Cards 71 

Qua Cursum Ventus 125 

Quietude 179 

Qui Laborat Orat 126 

Sabbath Evening 287 

Say not the struggle nought 

availeth 127 

Song to the Bainbow 47 

Sorrow's Uses (from '* Philip 

van Artevelde " 240 

Stokesley 213 

Strangers Yet 227 

Sweet Mother, Dear 19 

T* auld Farmer's Midneet So- 
liloquy 99 

The Aloe-Blossom 193 

The Ancoats Skylark 160 

The Author of the '• Imitatio 

Christi" 163 

The Ballad of the Fridstol 163 

The Blade of Grass 147 

The Blessing 121 

The Brook Side 231 

The Buried Chime 264 


The Cry of the Children 34 

The Deeth o' Benforth 76 

The Dule's i' this Bonnet o' 

mine ; 27 

The English Dead (from " Ver 

Tenebrosum) ; a Sonnet .. 201 

The Holy Bood 106 

The Hon. Edward Ernest Vil- 

liers (from "Memorial 

Lines") 243 

The Inn of Care 96 

The Lady's Yes 38 

The Life Boat 10 

The Little Grave under the 

Snow 140 

The Lock of Flaxen Hair 176 

The Loss of the " Birkenhead " 67 

The Memorial Flower 79 

The Message of the Chimes ... 166 

TheMighty 21 

The Moorland Breeze 29 

The Neophyte 96 

The Opening of the Bells of 

Holy Trinity Church, Hull, 

A.D. 1727 269 

The Organist 141 

The Private of the Buffs 69 

The Questioner 198 

The Bed-breast 148 

The Bed Thread of Honour ... 89 

The Beign of Gold 64 

There's Pleasure and Health in 

Contentment 12 

The Boyal Academy, 1886 261 

The Skylark 114 

TheSleep 39 

The Soudanese rtrom "Ver 

Tenebrosum " ) ; a Sonnet 200 

The Soul's Expression 41 

The Sphinx 47 

The Taunt 118 

The Tent 229 

The Two Worlds 46 

The Violet and the Bose 63 

The Voice of Change 108 

The Wayver of Welbrook 84 

The Woodlands 43 

The Wooing of the Lancashire 

Witches 188 

The Wooing of the Poppy ... 119 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


North Country Poets. 


Throagh a Glass darkly 124 

Time 9 

To a Friend 186 

To a Snowdrop on a Graye... 116 

To J.B.G.— In Memoriam 115 

To Love 116 

To Margaret 120 

To Memory 116 

Too soon 70 

To the Press 169 

Two 269 

Two Seeds 235 

T' Yorkshireman i* London ... 129 

Waiting for the Swallows 133 

Waverlow Bells 85 

We Six 107 

What I live for 49 

What of the Night? 205 

What use to he lang sen 100 

When I am dead 164 

Whithy Ahhey 10 

Why should I write a weary 

Poem? 202 

Willie is waiting for me 15 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



A. bee was seen 119 

A bridal robe should be 4 

Across the vale of life 242 

A goggle-eyed faddler, as usual, bout brass 222 

Ah's Yorkshire! bi mi truly ! 208 

A hush of other realms it seemed 141 

Alone upon the desert wild and bare 47 

Along this narrow path, behold 68 

A'm deein be inches, tha knaws weel enuf 172 

Among the hills of India 89 

Annette, with her sister Tib 78 

Another Sabbath sun is down 287 

A prophet's vision, vague and crude 106 

A ruined wall, 'neath sweetly blooming trees 137 

A solitary monk within his cell 163 

As the fallen seed of a former flower 235 

As ships becalmed at eve, that lay 125 

A streak of reddening light on fallen leaves 116 

At Nebra, by the Unstrut 95 

Aw've just mended th' fire wi' a cob 26 

Be open, courteous, bland 244 

By trifles in our common ways 284 

Cocken woods are green and fair 79 

Come all you weary wanderers 30 

Cum, Geordy, had the bairn 73 

Day is breaking. 55 

Dear Nellie, I set sail to-morrow 264 

Deep in the thick of a tuft of clover 51 

Doleful, and dreary, and sad 183 

Donosto to the public gave 162 

Downward sinks the setting sun 81 

Downy seeds of thistles drifting lay like snowflakes on the moor... 261 

Do you hear the children weeping, O my brothers 34 

Father and child together lie at rest 91 

Flashing form, so fair and fleeting 47 

Give honour to our heroes fallen, how ill 201 

Hail, mighty Power 1 that on the lucid page 169 

He has taken the vow of poverty 203 

Here is the place at which we must part... 280 

He that lacks time to mourn, lacks time to mend 240 

Higher and higher to heavens rising 114 

High o'er wild Wanny's lofty crest Ill 

His grave is by a shore he loved 115 

His life was private ; safely led, aloof 243 

His spirit is in apogee ! To-night 96 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

296 North Country Poets. 


How sweetly sound the joyoas bells 136 

I asked of heaven and earth and sea 198 

I close your Marlowe's page, my Shakespeare's ope 199 

I have a lock of flaxen hair 175 

I live for those whoiove me 49 

I love thee-not, young May, with all thy flowers 8 

I'm a bird that's free 241 

I measure life by gravestones, not by years 5 

X mind me of a garden quaint, with flaunting iris flowers 105 

I never looked that he should live so long 239 

In the bitter gloom of a winter's morn 269 

I plucked this flower, O brighter flower, for thee 200 

In BoBsendale ther& lives a lass 14 

I's grou'en feckless, auld, an' le&mm 100 

Isle of the fair and the brave 66 

I stood by the sea when the sun shone bright 18 

Is't thee 'at's cum hetoim sa le&tt, Zarah ? 99 

I' thiacity o' millions to-neet 129 

It sounded in castle and palace 64 

I've read in story books full oft 213 

I wandered by the brook-side 231 

Keep aght ov debt-^-it's gud advice 173 

Last night, among his fellow roughs 59 

Lay the little limbs out straight 216 

Let the dead past bury its dead 105 

Life is a dreary round, they say 13 

Long was the day, and terrible. The cries 240 

Love is a baron with counties seven 192 

Love is a friendly bark on the deep 23 

Love, like a bird, hath perched upon a spray...-. 200 

Many -hued the sky this morn 180 

Mates? ay, we've been mates together 265 

Mother wept, and father sighed 63 

My bonnie, bonnie muirland hame 110 

Night on the Thames, and yonder flush of light 277 

Now o'er the topmost pine 94 

Ohomel dear home! where all delight to move 168 

•» O if I might do some great deed, and die I " 192 

O if I were where my heart is 189 

O only source of all our life and light 126 

O 'tis sweet, 'tis sweet to wander in the greensward-pavon alleys 43 j 

Of all the happy, joyous days, oh, childhood's days are best 137 

Of all the blithesome melody 29 

Of all the thoughts of God that are 39 

Oh, better far than richly sculptur'd tomb 45 

** Oh, bless her I bless her ! bless the child ! " 121 

Oh, dinnet clash the door 75 

Oh I green lanes of Northumberland 142 

Oh l.little blade of grass 147 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Index of First Lines. 297 


Oh memory, thou hast one bright page 115 

Oh, why is the Humber soe dysmal and browne 250 

Old Jammie and Ailse went adown the brook side 85 

On a lone hillside *neath the starless night 10 

One hot and sultry summer's eve 223 

Onward the chariot o^ the Untarrying moves 200 

Oar ancestors at Hastings fought 2 

"Quietude, O quietude," 179 

Bare Margaret ! your influence thrills 120 

Returned from travel after Qiany years 16 

Bight on our flank the sun was dropping down 57 

Say not, the struggle nought availeth 127 

So fragmentary and so incomplete 9 

So full of graces is thy wife 163 

So quiet, yet so quaint I Shall curfew toll 94 

Speak not of trifles light as air 285 

Sprung as from mist two rolling worlds I view'd 46 

Strangers yet 1 227 

Such souls, whose sudden visitations daze 240 

Sweet flower, first of Spring — Spring nursed 116 

Sweet mother dear I Sweet mother dear ! 19 

Take cedar, take the creamy card 71 

The bold crew of the Unicom discern at dawn of light 178 

The boughs are black, the wind is cold 69 

The brown rocks lie on the land, just as they did of old 108 

The castle crag, with ruin crowned 131 

The day was hot, the summer sun 160 

The dule's i' this bonnet o' mine 27 

The leaves which in the Autumn of the year 181 

The lovers are whispering under thy shade 70 

The mavis h^ sings by his nest 15 

Then shall this glorious Now be crowned the Queen 242 

There is no game so desperate which wise men 238 

There's a neat little grave in our snug churchyard 140 

There came two fairies tripping along 188 

There's a tree that the fruit-trees scorn 193 

There's pleasure and health in contentment 12 

There was yance a tarm i' mi life when Ah was soft as suds need be 210 

The roses were red in the gardens of summer 259 

There were Tracy and me, and Roily Dick 107 

The shadows lengthen ; and the twilight is falling 219 

The souls in bliss to souls in woe 148 

The still air moved not stem or leaf 114 

The sun is flooding the eastern sky 217 

The wind its trump hath blown 7 

The violet invited my kiss 63 

The world is not a passing show 24 

The world will speed 164 

They wrong'd not us, nor sought 'gainst us towage 200 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

298 North Country Poets. 


Think not thy wisdom can illume away 199 

Thy prayer is granted ; thoa hast joined the Choir 02 

Time, sacrilegious hands of men, and storms 10 

'Tis eventide, and twilight adds 67 

To keep in sight Perfection, and adore 199 

Too soon, too soon! 70 

To see grim John do his endeavour 241 

Tother Setthurdy neet, aw thowt it wur reet 220 

'Twas a case which happened in court ; the prisoner's name was 

Ward 246 

Two birds within one nest 151 

Two lovely babes lie wrapt in sleep's repose 261 

Under the cliffs at Whitby, when the great tides landward flow ... 264 

Watchman I what of the night ? 205 

Wave and wind and willow-tree 198 

We are the latest heirs of time 204 

Weep not for them who weep 147 

We know not yet what life shall be 95 

We strolled beside the margin of the sea 273 

We thought she was our own for yet awhile 83 

What agony is ours when anger drives 118 

What we, when face to face we see 124 

When from Pandora's fateful box 233 

When I was but a bairn, I heard 185 

When the swallows fled to the sultry south 133 

Where are the graves of the mighty 21 

While musing o'er the year gone by 165 

Why luikye sae, my ain true love? 153 

Why should a man raise stone and wood 229 

Why should I write a weary poem 202 

With infinite patience and toil to develop 44 

With stammering lips and insufficient sound 41 

With that she sang a low, sweet melody 244 

Ya winter neet, I mind it well 102 

Ye cruel Atlantic Cable 76 

Ye jollie game wych alle creacyon lycks 234 

Yes, Autumn comes again and finds me here 92 

" Yes ! " I answered you last night 38 

Yo gentlemen o wi yor heawnds and yor parks 84 

You may frown if you like, and I'll borrow 194 

You see that little chap on crutches there 278 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Mr. Andrews' works are exceedingly interesting, and contain much that 
few have an opportunity of reading. —Nortoich Argus, 

Learned, chatty and instructive. — Derbyshire Times. 

Mr. y/illiam Andrews has produced several books of singular value in their 
historical and archsBological character. He has a genius for digging among 
dusty parchments and old books, and for bringing out from among them that 
which it is likely the public of to-day will care to read. — Scotsman. 

Mr. Andrews is a scholarly collector of curious out-of-the-way information, 
which he presents in an attractive form. — Public Opinion. 

Cuthbert Bede, the popular author of " Verdant Green," writing to Society ^ 
flays : ** Historic Yorkshire," by William Andrews, will be of great interest and 
value to everyone connected with England's largest county. Mr. Andrews not 
only writes with due enthusiasm for his subject, but has arranged and 
marshalled his facts and figures with great skill, and produced a thoroughly 
popular work that will be read eagerly and with advantage. This handsomely- 
bound, luxuriously-printed, and gilt-edged volume would, indeed, form 
a very appropriate school gift, as well as a book to be placed on the library 
flhelf of the student. A clear and copious index increases the value of a work 
that will be read with interest by the historian, the folk-lorist, the antiquary, 
And the lover of legendary lore. 



strange Stories, Characters, Scenes, Mysteries and Memorable Events 
^n tJjc ${0tortr of (f)iXf d^n^iantf. 
In his present work Mr. Andrews has traversed a wider field than in his 
last book, '* Historic Yorkshire," but it is marked by the same painstaking 
■care for accuracy, and also by the pleasant way in which he popularises strange 
stories and out of the way scenes in English history. There is much to amuse 
in this volume as well as to instruct, and it is enriched with a copious index. — 
Notes and Queries. 

A fascinating work. — Whitehall Review. 



A dainty volume. — Yorkshire Chronicle. 

Very carefully and pleasantly written, — Derby Gazette. 

A most valuable addition to local literature. — Eastern Morning News. 

A delightful book. — Glasgow Citizen. 



There is much interesting information in this work, conveyed in a very 
pleasant manner. — Pictorial World, 

An interesting and instructive treatise. — The Nation^ New York. 

A capitally-written book, containing a vast amount of curious out-of-the- 
way information. Mr. Andrews is never for a moment dull, but gives forth 
his antiquarian gossip with all the enthusiasm and point of a practised 
raconteur. — Sunday Times. 


A book which is sure to be widely read and appreciated. — People's Journal, 
It is a book that will often be tsbken down from the shelf when its 
possessor is in a desultory mood ; and serious lessons as well as amusement 
must always reward a fresh dip into its pages. — Christian Leader. 

The subject is approached by Mr. Anfiews with much freshness. — Daily 


(Sf}p:onicl6b front t^e (S^avliB»i ia i(re ^r«»«ni ®inte* 

The work is thoroughly well written, it is oareful in its faets. and may be pronoonoed 
exhaustive on the subject. Illustrations are given of several frost fairs on the Thames, and as 
a trustworthy record this volume should be in every good library. The usefulness of the work 
is much enhanced by a good index.— Public Opinion. 

A great deal of curious and valuable information is contained in these pages A 

comely volume.— ^fterary World. 

Not likely to fail in interest. — Manchester Ouardian. 


Digitized by 


Montgomery & Son, Pbinters, Scale Lane, Hull. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Digitized by VjOOQIC